SA rhinos emigrate to Florida
Four white rhino have been successfully transported by IAG Cargo from Johannesburg to Miami, as part of a conservation project designed to support the species’ survival.
In a complex operation that took several months to plan, the rhino were removed from the Bester Birds & Animals Zoo Park and will now call the Centre for Conservation of Tropical Ungulates in Florida home.
Mike Bester, founder of Bester Birds & Animals Zoo Park, says: “The white rhino is under significant threat from poaching and as a result these rhinos have been transported to the Centre for Conservation of Tropical Ungulates as part of a specialist breeding programme, which was only possible with the assistance of our partners.”
One of these partners is IAG Cargo and its specialist Live Animals product. IAG Cargo was chosen as the carrier due to its expertise in moving live animals and the capabilities of its next generation Airbus A380, which has hold temperature management systems that ensured an ideal temperature range was maintained to help the rhino remain relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire journey.
Gabriella Tamasi, global product manager premium products at IAG Cargo, comments: “This shipment highlights the air cargo industry’s important role in the protection of endangered species. I’m delighted to report the rhinos travelled very well. IAG Cargo ensured the rhinos’ safety and security was maintained throughout, as well as meeting very specific duties of care for the animals as a result of its expert staff, facilities and next-generation aircraft.”
During the London Heathrow stop-over, expert support was received from the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, which incorporates state-of-the-art facilities, alongside specialist animal handlers.