Forget Snakes on a Plane, Volga-Dnepr has rhinos in an Ilyushin

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Volga-Dnepr Airlines has transported two Southern White Rhinos from Israel to Russia, to a zoo participating in international programmes for the preservation of rare and endangered animals.

The animals flew from Tel Aviv to Rostov-on-Don in an Ilyushin IL-76TD-90VD to ensure the correct temperature and pressure environments were maintained during the transportation.

The aircraft’s low noise engines also contributed to the comfort of the rhino during their journey, where they were closely monitored by Israeli veterinary experts travelling on the freighter as cargo attendants.

Tel Aviv Zoo curator, Dr Gillad Goldstein says: “Everything went quite smoothly. The aircraft team were very experienced and efficient. Thank you for your part in this project.”

Rostov-on-Don Zoo director, Alexander Zhadobin says: “In February 2017 we started negotiations on transferring the rhinoceroses, which included following the recommendations of our Israeli colleagues and redesigning the rhinos’ enclosure.

“Since arriving in Russia, they have relocated well under quarantine as they adapt to their new conditions. We would like to express our gratitude to Volga-Dnepr Airlines for their safe transportation.”

The transportation was performed at the request of Charter Green Light Moscow, a logistics partner of Volga-Dnepr Airlines.

White rhinos are the second largest land mammals after elephants, and the Southern White Rhino is now subject to protection and population management following the almost complete extinction of their close relatives, the Northern White Rhino.