DHL recently moved one rehabilitated manatee from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and two from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to Florida.
The moves are part of the Ohio zoos’ participation in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Program.
The three manatees were driven to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to board a DHL flight to Florida accompanied by an animal care specialist and veterinarian from the zoos.
The manatee crates were placed in an open-top cargo crate that was locked into the cargo hold. The manatees were kept as far away from engine noise as possible while waiting to be loaded, and their crates were loaded last so that they could be unloaded first after arriving at their destination.
“DHL is especially pleased to be part of this important manatee transfer and rehabilitation project,” said Joe Collopy, regional sales manager at the DHL Express Americas hub in Cincinnati. “DHL Express has many years of experience, successfully moving live animals around the world all in part to contribute to the zoos’ important work in protecting endangered species.”
This was the largest manatee move DHL has ever handled.
The animals will remain under the care of manatee experts at Miami Seaquarium, SeaWorld Orlando and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, until winter when they will potentially be released near the areas where they were originally rescued.