Delta and American airlines ban shipments of big-game trophies
U.S. airlines Delta and American on Monday banned the shipment of big game trophies on flights, in the wake of outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.
“Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight,” the company said in a brief statement.
Delta added it would review its acceptance policies for other hunting trophies with the appropriate government agencies and other organizations.
American tweeted its ban Monday night.
“Effective immediately, we will no longer transport buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion or rhino trophies.”
The decisions follow similar measures taken by Emirates and South African Airways.
The bans come during the peak hunting season in certain African countries and a worldwide outcry over the killing of Cecil by an American dentist and trophy hunter.
The lion, with a distinctive black mane, was a favorite with international visitors to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Authorities in Zimbabwe recently named another American alleged to have taken part in an illegal trophy kill of a lion in the country.
A government statement also said a safari organizer has been arrested as part of the crackdown on hunting near the big game reserve where Cecil lived.
American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil with a bow and arrow and paid some US$50,000 for the hunt.
Hunting of such game has been suspended barring special permission from wildlife park authorities.
In this Oct. 9, 2012 file photo, a Delta Air Lines 747-400 plane sits parked at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington.