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How this South American zoo is saving the endangered white rhino

Months of training and planning have gone into the operation of ensuring an endangered White Rhino, weighing more than 1,500 kilograms, is safely transported to its new home. 

Pantaleón’s story began nine years ago in Chile, South America when his parents, Oliver and Hanna, were the first White Rhinos to arrive in the country on a LATAM Cargo flight.

Fast forward to today, the four-year-old rhino was transferred to the Ukumarí Biopark. Pantaleón has completed his quarantine period and is now settling into his new home in Colombia. He shares his exhibit with two females, with the hopes that they can repopulate the world with his species.

LATAM Airlines Safely Transports Endangered White Rhino from Chile to New home in Colombia
Pantaleón is now in his new home

Teamwork makes the dream work

“Being part of the birth of Pantaleón and then witnessing him grow is something unique and wonderful, so there is no doubt that his departure is very hard too, but the most important thing is that we are making a real contribution to the conservation of a species that is disappearing. Buin Zoo’s commitment and, our purpose, is that we live to help nature and its species”, says Ignacio Idalsoaga, Director of Buin Zoo.

The operation required months of work, training and planning to ensure Pantaleón could reach his new home in the city of Pereira, Colombia.

“LATAM Cargo is proud to participate in this operation that contributes to the preservation of such a unique and wonderful species. It takes months of preparation to understand the type of animal, its behaviour and select an expert team to accompany the rhino throughout the shipping. Everything must be very well calculated and coordinated between the different participants so that the animal is transported safely.” says Juan Pablo Marquez, Manager of Cargo Operations in LATAM.

It was a team effort to coordinate the transfer from Buin Zoo to the Ukumarí Biopark.

“When Buin Zoo contacted us and told us about this project, at Bilbao Air Cargo, we were excited about the precious and tremendous challenge. We have been working for years to ensure the wellbeing of Pantaleon is looked after through this process, in order to preserve the species”, said Ana Luisa Bilbao, General Manager of Bilbao Air Cargo.