American Airlines joined United and Delta in banning the transport of game trophies after the outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion. Fred Katayama reports.
Online outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion pushing U.S. airlines into action. American Airlines on Tuesday joined compatriots United and Delta in banning the transport of game hunting trophies. The ban covers the "big five" animals known as the hardest to kill on foot: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos. Jeffrey Flocken, North America regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told Reuters, "These decisions are fantastic. They reflect the values of their customers and society. Bloodsport in killing endangered species for fun is not acceptable." Public pressure on the airlines grew when a Delta customer started a petition on Change.org, calling on the airline to stop shipping wildlife trophies. Nearly 400,000 people signed it. Cecil's killing by an American dentist last month sparked an international outcry. Flocken says American hunters account for roughly half of trophy killings worldwide. Most animals are sent by ship, and he says his group will look at the shipping industry next.