Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and their father, Donald Trump, speak at a news conference before the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel's 16th annual Outdoor Sportsman Awards in Las Vegas 21 January 2016.
Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and their father, Donald Trump, speak at a news conference before the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel's 16th annual Outdoor Sportsman Awards in Las Vegas 21 January 2016.
Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's administration plans to allow hunters to import the elephant trophies of creatures they killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia when returning to the US.

The practice was banned by the Obama administration in 2014, and elephants are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Although this act allows the government to give import permits for trophies if there is evidence that hunting aids conservation of the species, a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson told ABC News the administration has evidence from Zambia and Zimbabwe that the ban could be reversed:

Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.

People who enjoy trophy hunting animals often argue that the hunting helps fund conservation efforts that combat poaching and declining population numbers.

The government has yet to formally announce the policy change, but it was announced at a wildlife forum in South Africa this week.

The finding will apply to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe from 21 January 2016 to 31 December 2018, and in Zambia from 2016 - 2018.

The Great Elephant Census marks declining numbers in the elephant population across 18 countries in Africa, putting the remaining population at around 350,000.

People online have been outraged by the forthcoming decision, linking it directly to the Trump family's trophy hunting hobby.

Donald Trump previously defended his sons' hunting habits on the campaign trail:

My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment.

But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf.

My other son, Don, is a hunter. They're great marksman, great shots, they love it.

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