US Conservation groups are enraged as the White House considers a descision to allow trophy hunters who kill elephants to bring the endangered animals home as trophies.
The planned move, disclosed this week by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, had triggered protests from conservation groups and a frenzy on social media.
Opponents posted pictures of US President Donald Trump's sons Donald Jr and Eric, who are avid hunters, posing with the cut-off tail of a slain elephant and other dead wild animals on Twitter.
"There hasn't been an announcement that's been finalised on this front," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters when asked about the reported policy shift on Thursday.
"I'm shocked and outraged," Elly Pepper, a deputy director of the National Resources Defense Counsel, said in a phone interview.
"I expect nothing less from our president, and if he thinks this is going to go down without a fight, he's wrong."
Advocates for big-game hunting contend it can help preserve wildlife by generating income for poor countries that can promote conservation and improve the lives of impoverished people.