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Bear family flies to Czech Republic

Weighty passengers usually are not an every day situation for G.K. Airfreight Service. However, it is a situation which can provide a satisfying professional challenge as was the case recently.

This time, two brown bears, a male and female couple, weighing 700 and 600 kilograms respectively, needed to be transported from Rostov in Russia to Brno, Czech Republic. These two hefty creatures are under environmental act protection and are part of an international exchange program for species preservation of wild animals.

Particular attention in this case had to be given the fact that alone the transportation containers for the bears weighed 1.2 tons empty; and, they measured 2 meters in height, were 4 meters long and 1.7 meters wide. These were dimensions the bears could tolerate for the relatively short duration of the journey. Naturally, they would enjoy residing in more spacious surroundings in the Brno Zoo than in these brief travel conditions or even in their own Russian homeland where they grew up in the Rostov zoo.

Preparing the task, long-experienced GK officials knew that the current international transportation guidelines had to be exactly adhered to when traveling between zoos. And they were aware that the CITES-provisions for species preservation had to be completely implemented prior to the animals’ arrival at their new home. Having all the veterinary health certificates and species preservation documents in hand, nothing stood in the way of the journey, everything being in compliance.

GK Air knew that it is always an advantage to have an accompanying person on board when traveling with such heavy animals. Having the comfort of a calm, relaxed personal escort provides the “passengers” comforting reassurance. This time it was provided by the Rostov zoo’s curator who encountered no problems escorting his charges. Nor did he face any difficulties with the transportation cages which have might posed a tipping problem given their extreme weight. All went well.

Traveling via Frankfurt, Germany, on Air Bridge Cargo, the Russian cargo airline, from Rostov. On arrival, the bears next enjoyed a stopover in the Animal Lounge at Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport. Here veteran animal transportation experts from Animal Services assured that the 5-ton capacity forklift handled the heavy cages properly during the transfer to ground transportation.

All went as well exactly as planned: Bears, boxes, transportation documents, (including the all-important tax documents) being correctly processed and placed on board a truck by GK Air personnel. And so the bears were and sent off, safely on their way towards the Czech Republic, enjoying a relaxed trip to their new home, thanks to GK’S professional planning and execution of the entire transportation assignment.