DHL, the world’s leading express and logistics company, has assisted in the relocation of two giant pandas over 8,000 km from Chengdu, China, to Brugelette, Belgium. The female, Hao Hao, and the male, Xing Hui, both aged four, were successfully delivered via DHL’s global transportation network to their new home at the Pairi Daiza animal sanctuary in Brugelette on February 23.
‘Hao Hao and Xing Hui’s Pandastic Journey’ started at the China Conservation & Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Chengdu, China, on February 22, and ended with a delivery to a specially constructed ChineseGarden at Pairi Daiza, Belgium, the following day.
The two VIPs – or Very Important Pandas – were flown from China to Belgium on a dedicated DHL Boeing 767 freighter aircraft, accompanied by a team of two animal handlers and a veterinary physician and a plentiful supply of 100 kg of bamboo. They were welcomed at Brussels airport by local dignitaries and children from neighbouring schools, before a DHL truck took them on the final one-hour journey to Pairi Daiza.
The pandas are expected to spend 15 years at Pairi Daiza, a 55-acre garden that plays host to over 5,000 animals. With the support of the University of Ghent, a special breeding and research programme has been designed for them, aimed at helping to avert the future extinction of this endangered species.
“DHL jumped at the chance to support the delivery of our two Very Important Pandas – Hao Hao and Xing Hui – from China to Belgium,“ said Charlie Dobbie, Executive Vice-President, Global Network Operations, DHL Express. “We have supported a number of conservation projects in recent years, including the return of nine silverback gorillas from the UK to the wild in Gabon and the delivery of two rare Sumatran tigers from the Australia and the US to ZSL London Zoo for a breeding programme.
“Safely transporting these beautiful but endangered animals furthers our own commitment to supporting conservation and environmental causes around the world. Thanks to the unique challenges of planning and executing a project like this, it also gives us a great opportunity to showcase our expertise and capabilities.”
“The detailed organisation of the transport of Hao Hao and Xing Hui allowed us to meet, from the operational support to the highest levels of management, a great team at DHL,” said Eric Domb, Founder and President of Pairi Daiza. “It is a real privilege to benefit from the logistics capabilities and vast experience of DHL in this extraordinary adventure for Pairi Daiza.
“We are confident that Hao Hao and Xing Hui are in the best hands ever. We are highly appreciative of DHL’s support for this important and historic project.”