quietly loosened lion trophy regulations a month ago

A month before the administration sparked outrage by reversing a ban on trophies from threatened African elephants, federal officials quietly loosened similar restrictions on endangered lions. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service began issuing permits on October 20 for the importation of heads and hides from lions shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016 and 2018. 

The agency is also currently studying whether to add three additional countries to the list - Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania. Previously, only wild lions killed in South Africa were eligible to be imported.

This came to light just after President said he will delay a new policy alloying elephant trophies. He made no mention of lions.  

The US Fish and Wildlife Service began issuing permits on October 20 for the importation of heads and hides from lions shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016 and 2018z

The US Fish and Wildlife Service began issuing permits on October 20 for the importation of heads and hides from lions shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016 and 2018

Trump (pictured November 20), whose adult sons are avid big-game hunters, also expressed skepticism about his own administration's claim that killing threatened animals could help save them by helping raise money for conservation programs

(pictured November 20), whose adult sons are avid big-game hunters, also expressed skepticism about his own administration's claim that killing threatened animals could help save them by helping raise money for conservation programs

Trump weighed in after a strong public backlash against reversing an Obama-era ban on elephant trophies, which became public through a written notification posted in the Federal Register

Officials said there was no such legal requirement for notifying the public about the policy change on lions

weighed in after a strong public backlash against reversing an Obama-era ban on elephant trophies, which became public through a written notification posted in the Federal Register. Officials said there was no such legal requirement for notifying the public about the policy change on lions

, whose adult sons are avid big-game hunters, also expressed skepticism about his own administration's claim that killing threatened animals could help save them by helping raise money for conservation programs.

He tweeted on Friday that he would be postponing the big game trophy decision until he had time to review all facts, then on Sunday said the decision will be announced in the coming week.  

'Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal,' the president tweeted on Sunday.

weighed in after a strong public backlash against reversing an Obama-era ban on

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