Major Airlines Do Right by Cecil the Lion

by Alyssa Daniells

In the wake of global controversy spawned by the killing of Cecil the Lion, the travel industry has responded. Now, major airlines have banned these trophy kills as cargo.

The sport shooting of a protected lion in Zimbabwe by American dentist Walter Palmer led commercial carriers to prohibit the transport of exotic hunt carcasses.

The much-publicized story of Cecil the Lion returned to the spotlight this week. On Tuesday, Palmer was excused from extradition to Africa to face criminal charges. While this is viewed as a grave injustice to many, with worldwide airlines refusing to ship trophy hunts, more will presumably take action.

South African Airways spearheaded the ban, followed by British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates and United Airlines. Air Canada, Delta Airlines, Air France, Iberia, Qantas and Singapore Airlines have also put an end to shipments of slain endangered wildlife.

The airlines’ embargo counts the Big 5 game –lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos– as well as tigers.

What’s worth noting, is that airline employees themselves rallied against transporting bloodthirsty bounty and incited the policy changes.

The public outcry about Cecil the Lion not only raised eyebrows about these hunts, it raised awareness about ethical travel.

If you’d like your next vacation to make a positive difference, consider ‘voluntouring.’ Canadian tour operator G Adventures recently partnered with National Geographic to provide trips with a conservation-focus. Ask a Flight Centre expert about our many exciting sustainable travel opportunities. You can make a world of difference as you explore the world.

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