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Freight Forwarding and Logistics Outfit Bears Animals to New Hom

Updated: Oct 4, 2018

JAPAN – UK – Shipping wildlife, or indeed any animal, is a very, specialised business requiring the utmost care at every stage. When the creatures in question are large and very definitely dangerous the details of transport need to be even more fastidious so when freight forwarding and logistics group DHL was contracted to ship four brown bears from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster it meant some very careful planning.

The 9,000 kilometre journey saw the four passengers travel via special temperature-controlled trucks chilled to 10°C for the journey to the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. From the Hokkaido airport, they were flown to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, where they boarded a connecting flight to Heathrow Airport, London. A veterinarian and an animal handler travelled alongside the precious cargo, as maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for the bears was of paramount importance.

Each of the Ussuri brown bears, Riku, Kai, Hanako and Amu, can weigh up to 550 kg and requires temperatures to be maintained as closely as possible to their native climate in northern Japan and Korea. As such, purpose-built crates that could fit into the aircraft were produced for each of the bears to ensure they were comfortable throughout the trip. The endangered Ussuri brown bear, also known as the black grizzly bear, is found in many regions in the world but they are extinct across parts of Asia.

There are reportedly just 10,000 of the animals left in Japan and the bears are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to their vulnerability to habitat loss, illegal hunting and capture, and being poached for body parts and skins. Paul Chinery, Vice President Airfreight UK, DHL Global Forwarding, commented:

“The transport of live animals requires extensive planning and collaboration between various parties, We are proud to have the chance to support the important work of institutions like Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Thanks to our extensive expertise of planning and executing challenging transports we could ensure a smooth transition of the four bears to their new sanctuary.”

The four bears, ranging from 17 to 27 years old, will spend the rest of their lives in the care of expert handlers at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, a world leader in endangered species welfare which also hosts one of the largest polar bear conservation projects in the world. The park and its Foundation support conservation and welfare projects all around the world, from the critically endangered Amur leopard in Russia, the black rhino in East Africa to the lemurs of Madagascar. John Minion, CEO, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, observed:

“Spacious, temperature-controlled environments were a necessity for the bears’ welfare along the voyage. DHL took utmost care to ensure the animals arrived with as little stress and risk to their health as possible, no mean feat for such a lengthy and complex journey. The bears will be the first residents in a new Rehabilitation Centre at the Park, a 2.5-acre specialist reserve which has been designed for short to midterm housing of carnivores who have been rehomed before moving into their permanent home at the Park. We are excited to prepare the bears for their new home where they will receive the lifelong care they need.”



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