El Al to ban shipments of hunting trophies, after US elephant killer’s interest

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals gets airline’s commitment as US hunter reportedly suggests using El Al to ship dead elephant home

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

American hunter Aaron Raby shoots an elephant for sport. (Screenshot, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
American hunter Aaron Raby shoots an elephant for sport. (Screenshot, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

El Al Israel Airlines confirmed Monday that it would ban shipments of hunting trophies, the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reported Monday.

The announcement followed the release of video footage showing an American trophy hunter gunning down a young elephant in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The video shows the elephant peacefully wandering out of the bush when trophy hunter Aaron Raby shoots him in the head. The elephant falls to his knees as Raby — who paid a substantial sum to shoot him — gets multiple instructions from his guides on aiming better. Raby shoots four more times, causing the young animal to rumble in distress. It is not known how many more shots, if any, were taken or how long it took for the elephant to die.

Raby later paid to have the elephant’s body parts preserved for shipment to the US, reportedly indicating that he might ship the body parts via El Al.

“Bloodthirsty hunters will keep chasing the twisted thrill of gunning down majestic wild animals as long as they can ship their heads, tails, and skins back home,” said PETA Senior Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker. “By putting body parts on the no-fly list, El Al is helping PETA end this gruesome industry.”

PETA US called on UPS to join El Al and more than 40 other airlines that have banned shipping hunting trophies.

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