Update 4 August 2015: United, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have all now confirmed new bans, too!
Update 3 August 2015: Delta Airlines just contacted SumOfUs and informed us that effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight! Let's keep it up.
Update 31 July 2015: British Airways, KLM, Singapore Airways, Lufthansa, Air Emirates, Iberia Airlines, IAG Cargo and Qantas have all confirmed they ban the transport of animal trophies. Let's keep the pressure up on Delta and others to join them!
Cecil, the majestic thirteen year-old lion and national symbol of Zimbabwe was stalked, skinned and beheaded by a dentist from the United States.
The poacher, in Zimbabwe on a "trophy" hunt, illegally lured the regal lion out of the protected territory of Hwange National Park, before shooting him with an arrow and gunning him down.
But there's another villain in this story --
global airline companies who are happy to transport these dead, endangered species "trophies" around the world. If airlines refused, illegal trophy hunters would be stuck and the lions would be safe. Emirates has already announced a ban -- others need to join them without delay.
Tell all global airlines to stop allowing the transportation of dead endangered species before it's too late to save them.
Lions are incredibly vulnerable.
One hundred years ago it's estimated that 200,000 lions roamed across Africa, but now they number fewer than 30,000.With Cecil's brutal death, more than a dozen of Cecil's cubs now also risk being killed, as another male asserts dominance in the pride.
Trophy hunters claim the profit from licensing goes to animal conservation. But there are better ways of protecting animals than killing them! In any case, critics say much of the profit gets siphoned off by corrupt officials, and many of the parts of the endangered animals end up traded on the black market.
All this was preventable. Cecil was poached, plain and simple. But the attraction for trophy hunters is being able to display the animal they butchered when they get home.
If airlines stopped putting their profits above conservation by banning their transport, the bottom would drop out of the market.
Cecil's death has already erupted over social media -- but so far, airlines are avoiding any scrutiny for their role in the trophy hunting. Let's change that.
Tell all global airways to immediately ban the transportation of dead endangered species on their planes.