(LATimes) - In a surprise move, the Trump administration will suspend its recent decision to allow hunters to bring elephant trophies back to the U.S. from parts of southern Africa, President Trump announced Friday night on Twitter.
The move comes as celebrities, politicians and even some Trump supporters had intensely criticized the administration’s decision earlier this week to again allow the importation of elephant parts from Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” Trump tweeted. “Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”
Later Friday evening, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a statement confirming the decision.
"President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical. As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed," Zinke said.