Radio talk show host and animal advocate Michael Savage reacted with outrage at the news that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced last week it will allow the importation of elephant trophies from two African countries.
“That will open the door to Americans going over there to hunt endangered big game,” Savage wrote in an op-ed published by Newsmax on Thursday. “I am sickened by this and I have to go straight to the top.”
“Mr. President, you’re just plain wrong,” Savage wrote. “Permitting the importation of elephant trophies?”
“Are you kidding?” Savage wrote. “This is a stereotype of the ugly Republican … on steroids.”
“Everything the Left says about the insensitive, earth-killing, animal destroying, oafish Republican is coming to fruition all in one move.”
But in the announcement about allowing elephant hunting trophies coming from Zambia and Zimbabwe on Thursday, the agency, under the authority of the Department of the Interior, said that the decision was made in keeping with its mission to protect the species, which is listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The FWS announcement said, in part:
African elephants are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Our nation has an obligation under the ESA to make sure U.S. hunters are contributing to the conservation of elephants in the wild by participating in hunting programs that provide a clear conservation benefit and contribute to the long-term survival of the species in the wild. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service can allow the import of a hunted elephant only when the killing of the animal will enhance the survival of the species. Permitted imports of hunted African elephants are limited to two per hunter in a calendar year.
On Friday, President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tweeted about their decision to put the permit allowances on hold:
Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) November 18, 2017
“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!”
Zinke issued a statement on Twitter:
President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and health herds are critical. As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulation, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.
Newsmax reported that Savage takes credit for the change of plans.
“I was not mincing words,” Savage said. “I said: ‘If you do this, you will probably not make it out of your first term without being impeached,’” Savage told Newsmax.