Following a huge public outcry over the killing of the beloved Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by a trophy hunter, Delta Air Lines announced Monday it would no longer ship animal trophies. It is the latest of several carriers to end the service.
The airline announced that they would no longer transport lion, rhinoceros, leopard, elephant or buffalo remains.
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They have not, however, given an official reason for their decision.
Delta flies direct to a number of African cities, more than American Airlines which flies to only eight sub-Saharan cities.
Delta was subjected to an online petition to ban such shipments and said in a tweet its decision to stop carrying trophies was “effective immediately”:
Effective immediately, we will no longer transport buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion or rhino trophies.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) August 4, 2015
Cecil was shot illegally in July by US dentist Walter Palmer of Minnesota. Zimbabwe is seeking his extradition and that of a doctor from Pennsylvania, named as Jan Casimir Seski, who is suspected of killing a lion in April.
Delta would not answer questions from journalists as to why it made its decision on Monday, nor would it detail how many hunting trophies it has transported in recent years, Says BBC. As recently as May, Delta said it would continue to allow such shipments.
Its announcement came as several other airlines indicated that they are – or soon will be – stopping the transport of all trophy-hunting kills.
Cecil was one of Africa’s best known lions. He was
found skinned and headless on the outskirts of the park.
Traces of his last movements show when he was tricked
into leaving the park and shot with a bow More…
Somalisa private concession in Hwange, Zimbabwe, is trying
track down a Spanish men who allegedly paid park guides
€50, 000 ($54, 652) for the opportunity to kill Cecil, one of Africa’s
well known lions. Cecil More…