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Trump was referencing his administration's decision to remove restrictions on importing African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter turned to Instagram Stories on Friday evening (Nov. 17) to share an infamous photo of President Trump's son, Donald Trump, Jr., standing over an elephant he has killed and holding up its severed tail, smiling into the camera with a knife in his other hand.

Just hours before, Trump's spokesperson Sarah Sanders had defended the US Fish and Wildlife Service's move to end the 2014 ban initiated under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.

Mr Trump tweeted Friday that the policy had been "under study for years".

President Donald Trump on Friday announced he is suspending a controversial decision to lift the ban on importing trophies of dead elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia into the US, which had been assailed by conservation and animal rights groups. He said he would put the decision "on hold" and review it with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

That did not sit well with animal rights activists, and that includes Ellen. "Elephant populations across Africa are declining". Zinke said in a statement later Friday that "the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed". The move would have allowed hunters to bring in elephant body parts, like heads and tusks, from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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"The administration should withdraw this decision until Zimbabwe stabilizes", the committee chairman said in a statement.

The world's largest land mammal, the African elephant has been classified as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act since 1979.

Groups who have opposed the ban for years have claimed that allowing the hunting of some big game animals can actually contribute to conservation and the overall health of the herd.

Despite the outcry and Trump's stated reversal, the worldwide affairs page of the US Fish and Wildlife Service still - as of Saturday morning local time - says it will issue permits for importing big game animal parts.

As a result, the number of African elephants has shrunk from about five million a century ago to about 400,000 remaining.

"(It's) a great travesty for elephants", Tanya Sanerib Sr., with the Attorney Center for Biological Diversity, said.


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