In the wake of widespread outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion, Delta Air Lines announced today it would no longer ship lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros or buffalo trophies as freight.

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

According to corporate watchdog group, the world’s largest airline joins British Airways, Air France, KLM, Singapore Airways, Lufthansa, Air Emirates, Iberia Airlines, IAG Cargo and Qantas in banning the transport of animal trophies. From The New York Times:

Such a ban was initiated by South African Airways in April, and Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways later joined. These airlines pledged not to carry big game trophies, including elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers as cargo.

One major holdout had been Delta, which has direct service between the United States and countries in Africa. But bowing to pressure from some travelers and activists, and an online petition on, Delta changed its position too.

While Delta has yet to say why it decided to change the policy, travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt told the Associated Press he believes the announcement was probably the result of pressure following Cecil’s death.

“I don’t think there was much of this shipment taking place, so there is minimal revenue loss and big PR gain for them,” said Harteveldt.

CBS News reports that United Airlines, the only other U.S. carrier with flights to Africa, did not respond to requests for comment.

UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: According to NBC News, a United Airlines spokesperson said Monday that the carrier “hasn’t had many big game shipments” but is also banning them.

[Image via AP Images]