DHL delivers Black Rhino Eliska to her new home in Africa
June 30, 2016: DHL has completed another transportation project with the delivery of a black rhino from its birthplace in the Czech Republic to its natural homeland in Tanzania.
Three-year-old female Eliska was loaded on to a dedicated 28-tonne Boeing 757-200 freighter, specially modified for animal transport, and flown more than 6,500 kilometres directly to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, from where she was transferred by truck to her new home.
“The delivery of Eliska to Tanzania continues a proud tradition at DHL Express of supporting international animal conservation efforts,” said Ken Allen, CEO, DHL Express.
Eliska’s move was overseen by an international DHL team, comprising around 40 specialists in areas ranging from ground transportation and aviation to customs clearance and certification across more than five countries.
Hennie Heymans, CEO, DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, adds, “As facilitators of global trade, it’s fantastic that we can use our logistics expertise for such an important conservation project, and we trust that Eliska will flourish in her new home in Africa.”
The 900 kilogram female was transferred from ZOO Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic, where she was born in 2012, to the main DHL European Hub in Leipzig, Germany.
Along the way, she was accompanied and monitored by a team of support staff, including Dr. Pete Morkel, one of the world’s leading black rhino veterinarians. Five containers of food and water supplies were also loaded for the journey.
Eastern black rhinos are one of the most endangered mammal groups, with large-scale poaching in the late 20th century leading to a significant decline in black rhino populations in Africa. ZOO Dvur Kralove, where Eliska was born, has a strong record of breeding Eastern black rhinos, with 43 calves of the species born to date.
DHL has supported a number of major conservation projects in recent years, including the delivery of three black rhinos from the UK to Tanzania in 2012 and the delivery of two rare Sumatran tigers from Australia and the US to London Zoo in the same year as part of a breeding program. A 2013 project to transfer two giant pandas from China to a Belgian sanctuary resulted in the ‘perfect delivery’ in June 2016, when the female gave birth to a panda cub.