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In Wake of Cecil the Lion Killing, Delta Airlines Bans Animal Trophy Shipments

We often write blogs about airlines in terms of flights and service to popular private yacht charter destinations, but this post will deviate to highlight a move which we applaud:

In response to the global outcry after the tragic news of the killing of Cecil the lion, Delta Airlines has announced that it will no longer allow the shipment of big game hunting trophies on any of its flights, around the globe.

Cecil the lion who was killed by Walter J. Palmer, the dentist who was a trophy hunter

The Airline released this official statement:
“Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. Prior to this ban, Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.”

Other air carriers including Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines and Qantas have also stated that they also intend to ban the transport of trophy-hunting kills.

Cecil the Lion was a popular animal at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and served as an icon for conservation efforts. He was killed by Walter James Palmer, a Minnesota dentist in early July, after being lured out of the protection of the national park. Cecil wore a tracking collar and scientists at the University of Oxford had been following and studying him since 2008.

It was wrong to kill Cecil – our opinion. According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, it was also illegal. The government of Zimbabwe is seeking to extradite Palmer to answer for his actions.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, supports the decision made by Delta and other airlines to ban animal trophy shipments. “Back in April, a ban was initiated by South African Airways, and then joined by Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways,” said Sheeder. “Cecil’s killing has created a global outcry, and if there is any good to come from Cecil’s death, it is the heightened awareness of our need to protect our natural resources. We applaud Delta and the other airlines for their new policy banning animal trophy shipments.”

Sheeder concludes, “We live in an era of dwindling wildlife. Our own yachting industry is working to safeguard our reefs and vanishing marine life. The same safeguards are critical for all threatened species, both in the sea and on land. Big-game trophy hunting does not and should never again hold the allure it may have had in Teddy Roosevelt’s day.”

UPDATE — Delta Airlines has officially been joined by American Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin – and per, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Singapore Airways, Lufthansa, Air Emirates, Iberia Airlines, IAG Cargo and Qantas have already banned the transport of animal trophies.

From The New York Times, this ban was initiated by South African Airways in April, and Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways later joined. These airlines pledged not to carry big game trophies, including elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers as cargo.


WHAT DO YOU THINK?   Should Big Game Trophy Hunting Be Banned?  Send us an email and tell us how you feel (include your contact information and mailing address), and we’ll mail you an eco-friendly tote bag, compliments of 1-800 Yacht Charters!  Email us at

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About Jana Sheeder

1-800 Yacht Charters. Providing The Superyacht Experience since 1976. Luxury yacht charter vacations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, South Pacific, South Florida, Miami and the Keys, Italian Rivera, Belize. Megayacht charter company focused on generosity, Pay it Forward, Random Acts of Kindness, giftivism, giving back to the ocean, to the needy, and the environment with every superyachting charter. Providing eco-friendly alternatives while on yacht charters and known for 6 star customer service, experience, and generosity.

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