Airlines around the world are reacting to news of Cecil the lion’s death by banning shipment of trophies obtained through hunting. Delta and American Airlines said Monday they will all stop shipping lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros trophies as freight.
Delta issued the following statement:
“Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. Prior to this ban, Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.”
And American Airlines weighed in on Twitter:
Effective immediately, we will no longer transport buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion or rhino trophies.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) August 4, 2015
Then, on Tuesday Air Canada said it too would outlaw the service.
Eff. today, we refuse to carry shipments of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros & water buff. trophies as freight pic.twitter.com/HwneXyprNl
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) August 4, 2015
Cecil the lion was shot and with a bow and arrow, injured tracked for two days before being killed, beheaded and skinned just outside a national park in Zimbabwe. Those involved in the hunt, widely considered illegal have now been criminally charged and the American dentist who paid for the hunt is being sought for extradition.
United Airlines said it has previously ceased such shipments. They join a growing number of other airlines taking a stance on poaching, illegal hunting and legal kills. Emirates SkyCargo’s embargo on hunting trophies from elephant, rhino, lion and tiger went into effect on May 15. The news follows South African Airways‘ announcement in April. Reaction from animal lovers was immediate.
Main photo Oxford University