WATCH: The whole world must know about Cecil the lion by now. He was the much-loved lion who was illegally killed by an American trophy hunter in Zimbabwe. Trophy hunters love to display what they kill, and in many cases that requires airlines to carry souvenirs of their hunts back home. Now some airlines, including Air Canada, are rethinking that policy. Aarti Pole reports.
TORONTO – Air Canada says it will no longer transport big-game hunting trophies after the killing of Cecil the lion drew international attention.
A company spokesman says the airline will no longer carry trophies from lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and water buffaloes.
Peter Fitzpatrick says such shipments have been extremely rare in the past because the company does not operate flights to South Africa, where big-game hunting is a booming industry.
He says the company already complies with existing regulations on transporting endangered wildlife.
The killing of Cecil the lion by a Minnesota dentist in early July cast a spotlight on trophy hunting and sparked a social media outcry.
Zimbabwean authorities have said they will seek the extradition of Walter James Palmer, alleging he shot the lion with a bow and arrow illegally.
Air Canada joins at least a half dozen other airlines that have banned the transportation of big-game trophies in the past two weeks, including Air France, Delta Air Lines and Qantas.
Canadian carrier WestJet Airlines also confirmed it won’t transport “Big Five” hunting trophies.
Other airlines, including Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways, brought in a similar ban in April.