DHL, the world’s leading logistics company, has delivered two Sumatran tigers, one from the USA and one from Australia, to take part in an international breeding program.
With fewer than 300 Sumatran tigers now in the wild, ZSL London Zoo is hoping to breed the tigers as part of a wider conservation support program and enlisted the help of international shipping firm DHL Express to transport the two tigers: Melati, a female tiger from Perth Zoo, Australia, who arrived on 29 September and Jae-Jae, a male tiger from Akron Zoo Ohio, United States who joined Melati on 14 October. Taking into account the tigers’ wild behavior and mating rituals, the female tiger was brought to the zoo first and given time to mark her territory, before the male tiger was introduced two weeks later.
To ensure the safety of the tigers on board, bespoke travelling crates were created for the wild cats, equipped with infrared cameras to allow each tiger’s on-board keeper to monitor their well being throughout the journey.
Dedicated tiger team
To ensure the safety of the tigers on board, bespoke travelling crates were created for the wild cats.
To accommodate the feline travellers, DHL temporarily reconfigured its global network to ensure the tigers could be delivered in under 24 hours.
Phil Couchman, CEO of DHL Express UK & Ireland commented: “This is an extremely worthwhile cause and a massive logistical operation for DHL – our priority throughout the operation has been the safety and well being of the tigers.
“In working closely with ZSL London Zoo to prepare for the move and to ensure the smoothest possible journey for the tigers, we established early on that if either of the tigers were in transit for longer than 24 hours, they would need to be grounded and fed. So, in the case of Jae-Jae, we made some adjustments to our global flight operations to ensure his arrival at London Heathrow within the 24 hour deadline. This meant that the whole DHL network was working around the needs of this VIP passenger.”
“Our dedicated tiger team, which includes staff from across DHL’s operation, from aircraft engineers to cargo handlers, security teams, pilots and drivers, have done an excellent job of ensuring the success of this project. We’re delighted to have been of assistance to Jae-Jae and Melati and we hope they enjoy their new home.”
Demanding relatively little fuss for such high profile flyers, the tigers’ entourage included only a dedicated zookeeper from ZSL London Zoo – though space was made on board for items from the tigers’ luggage, including around 10 pounds of meat and 2 gallons of water.