United, American Airlines Also Announce Bans On Shipping Exotic Animal Trophies

Following Delta Air Lines’ announcement yesterday that it wouldn’t allow lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies as freight on its planes, both United Airlines and American Airlines have joined in to say they’re also banning big game trophies.

United Airlines said Monday that it would also prohibit transportation of those same five animals.

“United restricts the shipment of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies on our aircraft. [The ban on animals] that are not already protected species are effective immediately,” the airline said in a statement.

“We felt it made sense to do so,” a United spokesman told Bloomberg News on Monday in disclosing the carrier’s ban.

Another United spokeswoman told the Washington Post that the airline had not shipped those five animals as freight previously.

“United also follows all U.S. domestic and international regulations, which prohibits the possession of trophies or other items associated with protected species,” she said.

Delta is the only carrier with direct routes to South Africa. Currently, United only serves one destination in Africa — Lagos, Nigeria — and American doesn’t fly to Africa, but it does have partners that do.

It joined the big game ban late on Monday as well, with a Tweet:

None of the airlines referenced a reason for the bans, but the announcements come in the aftermath of the death of a beloved lion named in in Zimbabwe, where a dentist from Minnesota is said to have lured him from a national park reserve during a hunt and killed him.