LAN Cargo, one of the main air cargo operators in Latin America, recently transported from Namibia to the African Safari Zoo in Puebla, Mexico, nine endangered African elephants.
The operation is one of the largest animal rescues undertaken in South America and the largest African elephant shipment LAN Cargo has made in its 80-year history.
During flight, each elephant traveled with ample space, silence, comfort and constant care, which are fundamental in this type of animal transport.
Just like human passengers, the elephants traveled while awake and were accompanied throughout the trip by veterinarians who cared for them before, during and after the flight. In this type of operation it is essential to create a sense of trust between the species and their caregivers. Elephants build trust based on recognizing body odor, gestures and acts of friendship.
The trip was made onboard a LAN Cargo Boeing 777 freighter, with capacity to transport up to 104 tons and a range of 9,045 kilometers when carrying maximum weight. LAN Cargo currently has two Boeing 777 aircraft and is awaiting the arrival of two more later this year.
In its history, LAN Cargo has also carried wallabies, dolphins, gazelles, and deer; and others, such as pets (dogs and cats), bees, elephants and horses (of which it has transported up to 45 in a single flight).