Delta Officially Bans Big-Game Hunting Trophies Worldwide

By Jamie Beckman
August 3, 2015
Male lion
Courtesy morherz/myBudgetTravel

In the wake of controversy over the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist, Delta Air Lines announced today that it would immediately "ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight."

Delta, the only U.S. airline with direct flights to South Africa, had been the target of pressure from individuals and organizations like the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which petitioned the airline on

According to "There's no doubt the news of Cecil definitely has altered the game plan for Delta," said Chris Green, director of legislative affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. "Walter Palmer is from Minneapolis—the third largest hub in the U.S. for Delta. It's not unthinkable to assume he would have chosen to carry a national treasure of Zimbabwe's back to the state's on a Delta plane."

The New York Times reports that Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas banned trophies last week; they join South African Airways, and Emirates, Lufthansa, and British Airways, who had already banned them. Most non-African hunters are Americans.

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