US President Donald Trump called elephant hunting a "horror show" and indicated that he will block imports of elephant trophies from two African nations despite his administration's earlier approval of the practice.
On Friday, Trump had temporarily halted the decision of the US Fish and Wildlife Services to lift the ban on import of trophies of elephants from Zambia and Zimbabwe into the US.
Trump's decision to review the Obama-era policy received a wave of criticism from some conservationists, Republican lawmakers and many celebrities.
The Obama administration banned such imports because authorities believed trophy hunting harmed the survival of elephants.
The Center for Biological Diversity had described this as a "horrific news" and said that "it is shocking" that Zinke is lifting the trophy ban during a military coup.
The same night, Trump announced that he had temporarily halted the decision, inviting ire from people across the world.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke supported Trump's decision.
"President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical," he said in a statement.
"As a result, in a manner complaint with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed," Zinke said after the Trump administration was criticised for its decision earlier in the day.
(With inputs from PTI)