Delta, American, United Airlines Ban Animal Trophies After Cecil the Lion Killing

deltaThree major U.S. airlines have announced that they will no longer haul animal trophies following the killing of Cecil the lion.

Consumer group SumOfUs announced that Delta has banned the shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and water buffalo trophies as freight worldwide following a petition that garnered more than 250,000 signatures. 

"Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight," Delta said in a statement. "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."

The Associated Press reports that American Airlines has also announced it will no longer transport big game trophies, although spokesperson Ross Feinstein noted that the gesture is largely symbolic, as the airline does not serve Africa

United Airlines has announced a similar ban, according to the Guardian. 

Other airlines that have enacted similar bans include South African Airways, which began its new policy in April, as well as British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa

The new bans come after an American dentist killed Cecil the lion, a well-known animal in Zimbabwe, in an alleged act of poaching, the Guardian reports. Zimbabwe has called for the dentist's extradition. 

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