Big Game Trophies: Airlines Say No!

Cecil the lion in 2014. Vince O'Sullivan/Flickr (CC by NC 2.0)

Cecil the lion in 2014. Vince O’Sullivan/Flickr (CC by NC 2.0)

The “Cecil the Lion” aftershock is being felt internationally, with airlines announcing they will not ship trophy hunters’ prizes.  Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Qatar, KLM, and Air France have suspended shipping any animal — or animal parts — that are (or may be) illegally hunted. Other airlines that already ban trophy animals from their cargo holds include Emirates, British Airways and Singapore Airlines. Read the BBC story 

Cecil paid the ultimate price to get the world’s attention on the shocking practices of buying licenses to kill big-game animals in sub-Saharan Africa. His death took more than 40 hours after being shot with the arrow from a crossbow. His head was cut off, he was skinned, and his corpse was left to rot in the sun. Even more shocking is that the person who shot him is a medical professional whose oath in human healthcare is to “do no harm” (the Hippocratic Oath). Cecil’s head and pelt were seized by police at the home of Theo Bronkhorst, the guide who has been arrested by Zimbabwean officials.

THANKS to the airlines for standing tall to deny any safe passage to the heads, pelts and whole animals killed in Africa. Now is the time to ensure that the trafficking in elephant ivory and rhino horn is stopped dead. These “trophies” are shipped to Asia via freighters that are more than willing to move the cargo. Don’t let Cecil die in vain.