Fast delivery: DHL airlifts gorilla Kiburi to new home at London Zoo

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Press release

London/Bonn, 25 November 2022: dhl Express has delivered a western lowland gorilla named Kiburi to ZSL London Zoo as part of an international breeding program for critically endangered species.

Kiburi, 18, was given VIP treatment on the 1,903-mile door-to-door journey from Tenerife’s Parrot Parc – aboard a custom-made slat supported by a dedicated team of zookeepers, aircraft engineers, cargo crews Case travel handlers, security teams, pilots and drivers. The 193kg, 5ft 4ft silverback gorilla enjoyed a nutritious meal of leafy greens, leeks and bananas as a snack and a refreshing glass of cold fruit on his first-class flight Tea.

Kiburi arrived in London late on Friday, November 18, spending the night at Heathrow Airport before arriving at the zoo at 8am the next morning. A team of veterinarians and zookeepers from London Zoo were on hand to receive the special courier, examine Kiburi and introduce him to his new home in Gorilla Kingdom.

Roy Hughes, Executive Vice President, Network Operations and Aviation Europe, dhl Express, said: “It has been a great honor to help Kiburi move to London. The logistics behind transporting him were no easy feat, but our team of experts worked closely with ZSL London Zoo and Parrot Park Cooperate and do everything possible to ensure his journey is safe and comfortable. Everyone at dhl is very committed to this conservation effort and we look forward to seeing Kiburi enjoy his new home in Gorilla Kingdom.”

Kiburi will lead the world-renowned zoo’s existing team, females Mjukuu and Effie, and cubs Alika and Gernot, in the family’s Gorilla Kingdom country, in hopes of further increasing the gorilla population through pairing efforts.

An exciting move four years in the making: Following the tragic death of London Zoo’s male Kumbuka in 2018, ZSL London Zoo began searching for the perfect male to take his place, working with the European Breeding Program for Endangered Species (EEP) Coordinator , Western lowland gorillas, which keeps detailed records of every gorilla in the program.

Kiburi will spend the next few weeks exploring the rest of his new Gorilla Kingdom home – which includes a lush private island, hidden caves, giant jungle gym and a flowing stream – and is slowly being drawn to Introduced to his new troop just in time for their first family Christmas.

Glynn Hennessy, Gorilla Keeper at ZSL London Zoo, said: “We are delighted that Kiburi is joining us at London Zoo and would like to thank dhl for the first class service they provided us with the oversized parcel throughout the carefully planned delivery process. Like any mixed family Again, it’s important to take your time when getting to know each other, so we’ll be watching this team closely and introducing them face-to-face at a pace they’re comfortable with.”

Dan Symonds, Zoology Operations Manager at ZSL London Zoo, who oversaw the operation, added: “Sadly, western lowland gorillas are declining in the wild in central and western Africa and face poaching, disease, forest Threats of deforestation and climate change. ZSL is protecting species at ZSL London Zoo by participating in this important global breeding program while investigating wildlife disease at ZSL’s world-leading Institute of Zoology, working with partners in the field to enhance wildlife Animal protection and monitoring, and empowering local communities to fight wildlife crime.In time, we hope to hear the crackling of baby orangutan feet again in the gorilla kingdom – adding to the decline in numbers of this critically endangered species. “


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