Delta And American Airlines Ban Exotic Animal Trophy Shipments After Cecil The Lion (UPDATED)

The airlines will stop transporting buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino trophies.

Delta is taking a stand against the slaughter of rare animals in Africa.

The airline announced on Monday that it would ban the shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.

The move comes weeks after Cecil, a popular male lion beloved by tourists and locals in Zimbabwe, was lured from a national park and killed by Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist and hunter. Last week, police received the big cat's decapitated head -- kept in the home of Theo Bronkhorst, one of the hunt's organizers -- before it could be shipped to Minnesota.

The killing sparked international outrage, prompting U.S. senators to draft a bill -- dubbed the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act -- to further restrict the import of hunting trophies.

Delta said it may extend the ban to cover other animals.

"Prior to this ban, Delta's strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species," the company said in a statement on its website. "Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments."

UPDATE: On Monday evening, American Airlines also announced the company will stop transporting exotic animal trophies.

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