FedEx Express (Memphis) and the ZooParc de Beauval today announced the loan of two giant pandas from China to ZooParc de Beauval in France.
FedEx Express is providing logistical services to transport the giant pandas on Sunday, January 15, subject to final regulatory approval. Working in conjunction with the ZooParc de Beauval and the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) in China, FedEx Express will fly three-year-old female Huan Huan and three-year-old male panda Yuan Zi non-stop from Chengdu Airport in China to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in France aboard a specially-chartered and panda-decaled Boeing 777F flight known as the “FedEx Panda Express.” Upon arrival in France, the pandas will be transported by FedEx Express on a specially-decaled vehicle from the airport to ZooParc de Beauval.
The arrival of Huan Huan and Yuan Zi will mark the first time in more than 10 years that giant pandas will reside in France.
The FedEx Express logistical operation includes ground and air transportation and the provision of two custom-built transport containers for the pandas. By deploying the Boeing 777F aircraft to transport the endangered species, FedEx Express is providing a direct flight from China to France, ensuring the pandas the shortest flight time. The fuel-efficient Boeing 777F aircraft is the world’s largest twin-engine cargo aircraft and the newest addition to the FedEx Express global fleet.
FedEx Express, ZooParc de Beauval, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding have collaborated extensively to ensure all necessary precautions have been taken to provide a safe and comfortable flight for the pandas. Animal care experts have been granted special flight privileges to accompany the pandas onboard the aircraft. Upon arrival, the pandas will reside in ZooParc de Beauval’s specially-built giant panda enclosures.
Currently, conservationists estimate that only 1,600 pandas remain in the wild. Both Huan Huan and Yuan Zi are part of global giant panda conservation programs designed to increase the panda population.
Due to security regulations, the departure and arrival events of the pandas will be closed to the general public, but people can follow the pandas’ journey at http://blog.fedex.com/panda-express-france or http://news.fedex.com/PandaExpress2012.
FedEx Express has a long history of transporting rare and delicate cargo. In December 2011, FedEx Express transported Tian Tian, a female panda and Yang Guang, a male panda to Edinburgh Zoo in the United Kingdom. In February 2010, FedEx Express transported Tai Shan, a male panda born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., and Mei Lan, a male panda born at Zoo Atlanta, back to China. In 2003, FedEx Express transported two giant pandas from China to the Memphis Zoo. In 2000, FedEx Express transported Tai Shan’s parents from China to Washington D.C.’s National Zoo.
Exotic cargo transported by FedEx Express has included polar bears, white tigers, elephants, penguins, mountain lions, gorillas, eagles and even a 13-foot tiger shark used in filming the movie “Jaws.”
Other unusual international cargo transported by FedEx includes a windmill from Denmark, the Ryder Cup and a vintage Jaguar Le Mans automobile worth more than £1 million.
Copyright Photo: Jim Fulton. Please click on the photo for additional information on the special Boeing 777F.
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