CHICAGO – In response to efforts by the Trump Administration to lift the import ban on elephant trophies, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is urging the president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to maintain the ban on elephant imports.

“Trophy hunting for sport and profiting off it is plain wrong and immoral,” Harper said. “President Obama banned these trophy imports because the continuous hunting of elephants jeopardizes the preservation of this endangered species. Donald Trump should take a lesson from his predecessor and stick to his decision to not change the existing ban.”

Earlier this month, Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, announced that the administration would be lifting the ban on elephant trophy hunting. After much criticism on this announcement, Trump backed down on his decision to reverse the ban. Harper wants to send a clear message to the Trump administration to not reverse the ban by urging community residents to sign a petition at opposing the president’s course of action.

Because African elephants are classified as an endangered species, the hunting or import of the animal, or a part of the animal, must contribute to its long-term survival. According to National Geographic, the population of African elephants has declined by more than 10 percent since 2005 as a result of continued hunting and poaching of ivory tusks. Harper feels that maintaining the elephant trophy imports ban will help increase the chance of the elephant’s survival, not diminish it.

“Given the economic climate the country finds itself in, I would think the president would want to focus on creating jobs and providing affordable healthcare to every American instead of tweeting about his decision to abolish this import ban,” Harper said. “I urge people to sign this petition to let President Trump know that the trophy import ban should stay in place.”

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

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