Thursday, April 6, 2017

Air Freight Specialist Helps Restock Zoo Hit by Tragedy

Tbilisi has New Residents Thanks to Donation
Shipping News Feature
NETHERLANDS – GEORGIA – Coyne Airways gave Tbilisi Zoo a helping hand by safely delivering its latest residents this week. A tiger, seven red-neck wallabies, six Barbary sheep, and 24 African penguins made the trip from the Netherlands to Tbilisi, Georgia, on Sunday, April 2 on board a Coyne Airways Boeing 777 freighter. The animals were donated as part of a project to repopulate the zoo, following a flood, caused by a freak storm in June 2015, in which hundreds of the zoo's animal inhabitants and at least 20 humans tragically lost their lives.

Readers may remember seeing a significant number of the animals which survived the flood escaping onto the streets of Tbilisi, leading to the broadcast of surreal scenes worldwide, including a giant African hippopotamus grazing on roadside greenery, and bears perched next to air conditioning units on the first floor of a residential building, struggling to stay above water.

Once the waters receded, the coutry's oldest zoo had lost over half of its pre-flood population, with more than 300 animals either having drowned or shot by emergency forces. Martyn Griffin, Sales Manager, Coyne Airways commented:

"Efforts to rebuild the zoo have been ongoing since the tragedy struck, and Tbilisi Zoo has received international support and donations. We were delighted to play a part in the recovery effort, by flying the animals on our weekly Boeing 777 freighter flight from Amsterdam to Tbilisi. Coyne Airways regularly transports a range of animals to Tbilisi for the Zoo.

"The animals are delivered just a few hours before the flight to reduce the time they spend in the cages and in the warehouse, and everything is ready for when they arrive so they board quickly - like flying first class!"

Photo: One of the less harrowing shots from the June 2015 flood which saw one man mauled to death by a tiger and crocodiles swimming in the Georgian streets.