When Cecil the Lion was killed illegally by an American dentist in Zimbabwe with the help of local tour guides, the effect reached into many different industries. The cargo industry has seen some repercussions, as carriers are starting to institute bans on Hunting Trophy Transportation, making it harder for hunters like the dentist to bring home their trophy kills, whether attained legally or not.
Cecil, a lion who was part of an Oxford University study, had been living on a game reserve. In July, a professional hunting party hired by the dentist lured the lion off the preserve and killed him, in spite of the fact that he was listed a threatened species. The aftermath of the killing spanned the globe.
In response, several major carriers, including Lufthansa, British Airways, Emirates, American, United and Virgin Atlantic, have banned hunting trophies on their airlines. Delta had been a hold out, but they have banned it as well. Some of these carriers have had long-standing bans they are highlighting during the current controversial time, while others are adding new bans.
UPS has come under fire because the company allows hunting trophies. With stringent requirements, UPS works to ensure that all hunting trophies it transports are fully legal, both from the destination and from the origination point. The Humane Society International has taken on UPS as a target for change. UPS claims it is not the carrier’s job to determine the “appropriateness” of cargo, just the legality of it. Several other airlines, including South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Alaska Airlines, Air China, Air Canada, DHL and FedEx, also still allow hunting trophy cargo.