DHL helps relocate the world’s loneliest elephant

By Damian Brett

DHL Global Forwarding played a key role in organising the transport of the world’s loneliest elephant, Kaavan, to his new home at a sanctuary in Cambodia.

DHL said that with a weight of over four tons and a height of more than three meters, the transport of Kaavan had to be planned and handled carefully.

“Over the years, DHL has transported different kinds of goods, overcoming several challenges. However, the transport of animals is always an extraordinary task,” said Thomas Mack, global head of airfreight at DHL Global Forwarding.

“The multimodal journey had to be planned very carefully. Temperature was controlled throughout the flight and Kaavan was accompanied by veterinarians to make sure he is safe. With our expertise and our global network, we were able to successfully relocate him to his new long-term sanctuary.” 

After a medical check, the Asian elephant was transported by truck from Marghazar zoo to Islamabad International Airport to start the journey to his new home at Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary November 30.

To prepare for the journey, Kaavan received special training for several weeks to securely enter his crate. The elephant was accompanied by a team of wildlife veterinarians who watched over him and kept him calm.

The flight was carried out by Russian charter carrier Aviacon Zitotrans utilising one of its IL-76 aircraft.

Aviacon Zitotrans charter sales executive Evelina Peshkova said it was important to connect those that had designed the Kaavan’s bespoke container with the loadmasters, airport handlers both in Pakistan and Cambodia, and the flight deck crew who maintained recommended temperature and pressure onboard during the flight.

“This long-haul flight took months of careful and extensive planning by Four Paws, a global animal welfare organization, veterinary specialists and DHL Global Forwarding,” the forwarder said.

“The international freight specialist arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group took care of the logistics, including the necessary customs authorisation for the transportation of Kaavan, from his previous home at the Marghazar Zoo.”

Kaavan, also known as the world’s loneliest elephant, received global attention for his living conditions in the Marghazar Zoo.

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