After Cecil outcry, major US airlines end trophy hunter shipments

American Airlines, together with Delta and United, banned the shipment of big game trophies on its flights.
American Airlines, together with Delta and United, banned the shipment of big game trophies on its flights.PHOTO: AFP

JOHANNESBURG (REUTERS) - Three US airlines have banned the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo killed by trophy hunters, in the latest fallout from the killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion last month.

 

American Airlines said on Tuesday it would join Delta Airlines and United Airlines in banning the transport of animals known in Africa as the "big five", coined by hunters because they are the hardest to kill on foot.

 

There has been an international outcry against trophy hunting among animal lovers since it emerged that American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil, a rare black-maned lion that was a familiar sight at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

Zimbabwe has called for the extradition of Palmer, who is accused of killing Cecil in an illegal hunt because he did not have a licence. The 13-year-old lion was fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study.