The cargo is valuable, but difficult: how to put a Rhino in the plane?

The cargo is valuable, but difficult: how to put a Rhino in the plane?

12 white rhinos in the framework of the fight against poaching left his native South Africa to start a new life in the country nearby. How can they there moved?

Rebecca Seales

BBC News

How to land the plane Rhino weighing half a ton?

Sounds perhaps like the issue of Christmas charades or the announcement of the new Hollywood Comedy, however, is the person who knows the answer to this question.

It was Les Carlisle, project Manager of the environmental organization “Rhinos without borders” (Rhinos Without Borders). Under his leadership, 12 white rhinos in the framework of the fight against poaching recently left his native South Africa to start a new life in the country nearby.

Animals spent 15 hours in the truck, by plane and then by helicopter to arrive in KwaZulu-Natal on the East coast of South Africa. “We sent them an email with your boarding pass and seat number, and then took to his heels,” said Carlyle.

But in a sense, the truth is even weirder.

Step 1: Blindfold and earplugs

“Such a large-scale transportation to a new place means that we must have the right equipment and the right people that can handle these large animals,” explains Carlisle.

“Animals caught and put in iron cages, which are specially designed to accommodate rhinos and so they can be placed in these containers in the plane, he explains. — It is necessary to immobilize them — that is to make sure that they are fully asleep and then put them on a blindfold and plug your ears with earplugs”.

“And then they should gradually introduce a small dose detoksiciruuschee [cancels the sleep aid] means that the rhinos could get to his feet. At this stage they are still poorly oriented, so they need to tie around the neck rope slowly to have a in a cage”.

It is necessary that they were themselves on their feet because they weigh a lot — it is impossible to move a ton of sleep meat!Les Carlisle

Rhinos should not sleep during the flight: they need to be able to move my legs and adjust their own breathing.

“The problem with such a long flight and so heavy an animal is that if it will be long to lie without movements, it will restrict blood flow in the lower extremities. As a result, they can sinemet limbs and generally atrophy a stiff foot”, — says the expert.

Publication of Pit-Track K9 Conservation Unit (@pittrack_k9) APR 4 2017 8:25 PDT

The vet-implanted chip ecologist at the sleeping Rhino at the Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa

Step 2: Boarding the plane

You then need to drag this heavy cargo in the plane. When the rhinos are already in the transport container, the container placed in a truck taking them to the airport. With the truck the container is placed on a special transport that delivers it to the plane. This process requires the help of a significant team.

“To load need 10-12 people on one Rhino, and we usually ship two at a time, so 25 people,” says Carlisle.

Unfortunately, this process also requires the presence of armed guards — because of the threat of poachers. Around the world for forty years prohibited trade of Rhino horn, however this product, used in Chinese medicine, is highly valued on the black market. It can be sold for more than gold or cocaine.

Les Carlisle says that constantly in the air are approximately four Rhino, which is transported in some “large military transport aircraft.”

Step 3: Custom and… a helicopter

So, flying for 12 and transported animals took about 2 hours and 40 minutes. After going through customs and filling out of many papers, the team faced an unexpected problem.

It turned out that the water level in the place of the new residence of the rhinos are too high and therefore there is a threat of flooding.

So, again, have in the air?

“We had on an external sling to carry them by helicopter. They did two flights, this is still an operation!” — says Les Carlisle.

Step 4: And they lived happily ever after???

A large part of the global population of rhinos — 20 and 25 million individuals — live in South Africa where poaching is rampant.

“Rhinos without borders” want to relocate 100 animals. The cost of transporting one animal is approximately $ 45,000, if you include the cost of a team of observers and anticontraband patrol.

However, when you consider that in the year in South Africa from poachers killed over 1,000 rhinos (that’s one every seven and a half hours), it turns out that this is the price you have to pay for the survival of this species.

Despite the fact that Les Carlisle, a veteran of the project for relocating the animals, he recognizes that the transportation of these 12 rhinos was a unique event.

Les Carlisle

“I am in my career relocated 40 thousand [animals] in about 70 different new points, and that this case was probably the most touching,” he says.

It was incredible to watch as these animals slowly rise, take a few steps… It was a very emotional moment for us, simply unbelievable!Les Carlisle

Each of these rhinos has a bracelet on the ankle and personalized electronic chip that is implanted during sleep, so a team of ecologists will be able to continue to observe their stay in a new place.