Photos and story courtesy of DHL’s Facebook page.
‘Diceros Bicornis Michaeli’ – but you can call her Eliska! She is one of 42 black rhinos raised at ZOO Dvůr Králové in the Czech Republic– and not the first to return to the wild. Once arriving in Tanzania, Eliska will join Deborah, Jamie, and Jabu – three other rhinos born and raised at the zoo before moving to Tanzania. How many rhinos do you know that get their own private jet? Eliska will fly in a B727-200 that DHL has specially adapted for animal transportation. The maximum payload is a little over 28 tons (so she’s a lightweight in comparison to most cargo!) Eliska will also have five cargo containers of luggage, but DHL will waive the baggage fee.
Eliska is a black rhino, categorized by WWF as a “critically endangered” species. The organization says there are just over 5,000 left in the world – much better than a few decades ago, but still very low! One of the photos shows Eliska’s “cabin” for the journey home. It’s 2 meters high, 1.2 meters wide and a little over 3 meters long (perfectly comfy for a three-year-old rhino). It’s made of natural wood with a reinforced steel subframe – designed to keep her secure during takeoffs and landings. It weighs just over a metric ton – and that’s without her in it!