Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rare Breeds Carried Safely by Specialist Air Freight Group

Back Home to the Urals for Przewalski Horses
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – RUSSIA – As we have said many times before the transport of living things is always a delicate business. Now freight airline Volga-Dnepr, having shipped flora in September, has now again turned its skills to fauna with the movement as air cargo of endangered Przewalski horses to the Ural steppes of Russia. One of the Group’s Boeing 737-400SF freighters carried six of the rare horses from Montpellier in France to Orenburg, located on the Ural River some 1,500 kilometres southeast of Moscow, as part of the reintroduction project. The horses were accompanied by three representatives of the Association for the Przewalski Horse to ensure their safety and wellbeing throughout the six-hour flight.

The Przewalski horse is one of the rarest and most endangered subspecies of wild horse on the planet. It is included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora. The horses were gratuitously given by the Association for the Przewalski Horse in France where several generations of horses have been living in the wild at the Tour du Valat Biological Station. The flight to Orenburg is the first step of the pilot project in Russia to reintroduce the Przewalski horse in the Preduralskaya Step of the Orenburgsky Reserve.

Following their safe arrival in Orenburg, the horses completed the final part of their journey by road. Svetlana Berezina, General Director of Fly Concord, which commissioned the flight, thanked Volga-Dnepr Group for the reliable and safe delivery of the priceless cargo. For their journey, organised through cooperation between Volga-Dnepr Airlines and AirBridgeCargo Airlines, the horses were transported in special stables. Rafilya Bakirova, Director of the Orenburg Reserve, observed:

“[Volga-Dnepr] helped us resolve one of the key issues, to deliver such invaluable cargo safely to Russia, literally returning Przewalski horses to the Orenburg steppes. We could never implement the practical part of the project without their help.”

The Volga-Dnepr Group has become a bit of a specialist in safely transporting animals for breeding and conservation projects around the world. In August, another B737F flight by AirBridgeCargo carried a shipment of 1,236,000 baby Muksun fish to help repopulate the freshwater Ob River basin in northern Russia.