Here at Jetpets most of our feline happy travellers are much loved family cats. However recently we were lucky enough to take care of the world’s largest member of the cat species – a Tiger!
Meet Satu, a 13 year old Sumatran Tiger.
Jetpets transported Satu from Queensland, to Ballarat Wildlife Park on a Qantas Freighter Aircraft. Satu travelled overnight and arrived at his new home in the early hours of the morning.
Satu is a very confident, strong and bold 13 year old Sumatran Tiger that has moved several times in his life. He was born in Germany, and travelled to Australia to be a part of the Australiasian Breeding Program.
“Satu just takes it in his stride. His journey from Queensland to Ballarat Wildlife Park was organised with Jetpets. We can not thank Jetpets enough for achieving everything we asked for to make Satu’s journey safe. The staff were amazing and supportive to our every need,”said Ballarat Wildlife Park chief tiger keeper Robbie Doyle.
Whilst living in Queensland for four years Satu fathered one litter with a female Sumatran Tiger named Maneki.
Satu and Maneki were then recommended to move to Ballarat Wildlife Park to live and be part of Greg Parker’s new dream, the new Conservation Precinct Area. These two beautiful and majestic Sumatran Tigers are now great ambassadors for their wild cousins and now help the staff at the Ballarat Wildlife Park educate thousands of guests about the plight of the Tigers. They are also great motivators to help raise much needed funds to save their wild cousins, with only 300-500 hundred wild Sumatran Tigers known to still live in their natural habitat.
Since arriving at Ballarat Wildlife Park, Satu has settled in with ease, cruising around all the enclosures marking his territory, chuffing at the female tiger Maneki and getting to know his new keepers.
His appetite for food is great, he has gained 1 kilogram in weight since arriving over one week ago at the wildlife park and his keepers are spending a lot of down time chilling around Satu as well as bonding via training.
RSPCA Victoria has had an enormous influx of cats and kittens throughout kitten season and has over 1,500 cats in care at the moment.
This large number of cats and kittens needing care meant RSPCA Victoria was at capacity, increasing the pressure on staff and resources.
We were contacted by RSPCA Victoria to help with transporting dozens of these kittens to Canberra where there were better opportunities to find them loving forever homes through RSPCA ACT.
RSPCA Victoria’s Head of Operations, Tegan McPherson said, “This is a really valuable opportunity to work with our interstate colleagues and with Jetpets, and the collaboration has had a positive impact on the welfare of these kittens by fast-tracking their journey into new forever homes.”
We took care of the first litter of kittens last week. The kittens had an early morning check in at our Melbourne Transit Lounge, where our Pet Handlers were in awe of them, as they are far too cute. They then travelled on a direct flight from Melbourne to Canberra. This will become a regular occurrence over the next few months as we endeavour to help as many kittens as possible.
We are really proud of our new partnership and the exciting impact we can have on multiple rescue pets’ lives.
“Gentle, playful and friendly”. That is how Hamilton Zoo Keeper Delwyn Crombie described young red panda Tenzing – and that is certainly the experience we had when we took care of him during his transfer to Tasmania Zoo.
Born at Hamilton Zoo, Tenzing is three years old. From six weeks he was supplement fed, due to difficulty competing for his mothers milk with his much bigger twin sister Jamuna. Although he remained with his mum, Tenzing became a very friendly animal through regular contact with his keepers and became an ambassador for the red panda species.
Tenzing’s latest adventure saw him transfer to Tasmania Zoo as part of the breeding program to continue the conservation efforts for the species. On transfer day, Tenzing was well prepared and hopped into his travel crate remaining calm and relaxed. He travelled from Auckland to Melbourne where he enjoyed refreshments from a Jetpets Pet Handler during his stop over before continuing to Tasmania.
As you can see in the photo, there is no doubt Tenzing’s imagination would have been running wild as he enjoyed watching the world around him on the journey.
He has now settled into his new home. “Tenzing is doing well,” said Keeper Rochelle Penny. “I’d happily say he had a great trip over. He arrived into Launceston very calm and relaxed, after arriving he came straight out and began eating. I’d say he had worked up an appetite.”
Tasmania Zoo is a privately owned, local family-zoo situated 18kms from Launceston. They are dedicated to continuous contribution to wildlife conservation and to the education of the community at large.
Tasmania Zoo exhibits the largest collection of rare, exotic and native species in Tasmania, and with their newest addition Tenzing, is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. You can find out more by visiting their website here.
Here at Jetpets we often get asked “what is the most exotic animal you have ever transported?”
We have moved many amazing animals including cheetahs, sea lions, and recently two lionesses, but we did get a little excited when we were asked to take care of Kamina, a 20 month old Pygmy Hippo, as she travelled from Sydney to Darling Downs Zoo in Brisbane.
Photo Credit: Darling Downs Zoo
There are two types of Hippopotamuses – the large Common, or Nile Hippo and the much smaller Pygmy Hippo. Pygmy Hippos are about half the height of Common Hippos and less than a quarter of the weight of their larger relations.
Even though Kamina is the smaller type of Hippo, in her travel crate she still weighed in at 750 kilograms before being loaded onto her flight.
Jetpets coordinated VIP airside access for Kamina and her Zoo Keeper, where she had her own quiet area to relax pre-flight. She was kept hydrated and was fed some tasty vegetables by her Zoo Keeper right up to the minute she was transported onto the tarmac.
Kamina was loaded into her allocated stowage compartment on a flight direct from Sydney to Brisbane, where she was introduced into her new environment at Darling Downs Zoo.
“Kamina travelled beautifully. We are impressed with how calm she is and not at all fazed by the relocation”, said Director of Darling Downs Zoo, Steve Robinson.
Kamina is one of only five Pygmy Hippos in Australia – and she is related to them all. She is the only Pygmy Hippo now residing in Queensland.
She is at the age where she would naturally become independent of her mother and has made the move to Queensland to eventually be a part of a breeding program. This is critical to the establishment of a viable insurance population of this endangered species in Australian zoos.
Photo Credit – Darling Downs Zoo
Pygmy Hippos come from forested areas within West Africa and are semi-aquatic. They do spend quite a lot of their time out of the water. Their numbers have dwindled dramatically in the wild due to deforestation, hunting for bush meat and as a result of wars in areas of Africa. Because they are so difficult to find in the wild, most of what is known about this species has been identified through studying them in zoos.
If you would like to visit Kamina or learn more about Darling Downs Zoos conservation efforts, you can visit their website here and arrange a visit.
You entrust Jetpets of course. Meet our latest Jetpets Happy Travellers – Lioness sisters Makeba and Uzuri.
Makeba and Uzuri settling in after their journey with Jetpets. Photo Credit: Perth Zoo
Makeba and Uzuri are 3 year old African Lionesses, and we were so excited to take care of them during their travels from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo to Perth Zoo.
A lot of planning goes into our Special Moves, particularly when the Special Move involves two Lionesses that weigh in excess of 150kg each. With Makeba and Uzuri’s welfare at the front of our mind, our Special Moves Coordinator Sarah worked closely with both zoos to plan the logistics of the move.
Makeba and Uzuri were collected from Taronga Western Plains Zoo and transported by road to Sydney Airport, where we gained airside access for both a Jetpets Representative as well as a Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keeper to ensure the Lionesses were onboarded with the utmost of care.
Jetpets Brett Headley, with Virgin staff members and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keeper Photo Credit: Nick Cubbins
Makeba and Uzuri travelled on a Virgin Australia Regular Public Transport flight that departed from Sydney at 7.15am, which ensured that the animals were not travelling in the heat of the day. They travelled in their own airline approved travel crates, in a cabin that was air pressured and climate controlled, just like the passenger cabin.
Makeba and Uzuri being loaded onto Virgin Australia Aircraft
Upon arrival into Perth careful planning was in place to ensure the Lionesses were first to be offloaded from the flight and into Jetpets care.
Our Pet Handler then delivered Makeba and Uzuri to Perth Zoo, where they had a process in place to introduce Makeba and Uzuri into their new environment, and a nice environment at that. Perth Zoo has recently constructed a new breeding facility and exhibit for African Lions, taking Western Australia’s ability to make a difference to global lion conservation forward in leaps and bounds.
The new $3.4M facility will house up to eight animals in the future. It includes special dens and holding areas for mothers with cubs.
Makeba and Uzuri enjoying their new environment. Photo Credit: Perth Zoo
Makeba and Uzuri will become the new breeding females for Perth Zoo’s lion breeding program.
Managed breeding is critical for this species which has already gone extinct from 26 African Countries. There are as few as 20,000 African Lions left in the wild.
The Lionesses are appropriately named; – ‘Makeba’ means greatnessin Ethiopia and ‘Uzuri’ is Swahili for Beautiful.
We look forward to following Makeba and Uzuri’s journey into motherhood.
If you would like to see these amazing Lionesses and learn more about Perth Zoos conservation efforts you can visit Perth Zoos website and arrange a visit.
Here at Jetpets we pride ourselves on providing a unique service to pet owners all over Australia but often we are tasked with looking after more exotic animals for many of Australia’s wildlife conservation programs and organisations.
This was certainly the case last month when we transported a male Australian Sea Lion, from Sydney Airport to Sea World on the Gold Coast. The Australian Sea Lion or “Maxi” as he is better known, was being transported to Sea World to join a coordinated breeding program between Sea World, Taronga Conservation Society Australia and ZAA (Zoo and Aquarium Association), aimed at increasing the numbers of this vital and endangered species.
Jetpets arrives with Maxi at his new home at Sea World
The Australian Sea Lion is found nowhere else in the world and their population is native to the rugged coastlines of South Australia and the southern tip of Western Australia. While the seals physical appearance is similar to other seal species, the Australian Sea Lion is unique in it’s breeding habits with females choosing to stay close to where they were raised and breeding only once every 18 months.
With Maxi being such an important traveller (and Jetpets first Sea Lion), our team were determined to make sure his trip was as smooth as possible. Being three years old and weighing in at 62kgs, we had to come up with travel solution that would enable us to transport Maxi the 900km distance to his new home at Sea World.
“With the support of Qantas freight staff and Sydney Airport we were able to give Maxi the royal treatment, ensuring his flight to his new home at Sea World was a smooth and stress free one.”, said Jetpets National Business Development Manager, Brett Headley.
Maxi the Sea Lion
On the day of travel our team worked closely with Maxi’s Zoo keepers and Qantas freight staff to ensure that Maxi had the very best of care with Jetpets even managing to arrange to have Maxi’s keeper travel out on to the tarmac with Maxi. Maxi and his keeper spent time in a nice quiet area to prepare for their flight and upon arrival in Brisbane, arranged for his keeper to have quick access to Maxi. Upon delivery Maxi was greeted by Sea World staff who couldn’t wait to get acquainted with their new arrival, with Maxi’s keeper helping to ease the transition to his new keepers.
“When Maxi arrived at Sea World, he spent two weeks in our quarantine area but has since moved to our Seal Theatre area where he will join the team of Seal Guardians in our new presentation educating our guests about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.”, said Sea World’s Mitchell Leroy.
Maxi being transported in a custom built travel crate
Seal Guardian is an educational presentation that will take visitors on a conservational mission to help protect the ocean from plastic pollution.
“Seal Guardian is an exciting new presentation which has a really important message about the impact plastic pollution is having on our oceans and what we can do to prevent further damage.”, said Sea World’s Curator of Mammals, Mitchell Leroy.
We look forward to watching Maxi develop as an ambassador for the protection of his species and spreading awareness of the importance of reducing pollutions in Australia’s oceans.
It’s certainly no secret to cat owners, that sometimes cats can feel uncomfortable in new or unfamiliar surroundings. If you are introducing your cat to your new home, then it is important to take it slow and control your cat’s exposure to the new stimulus. When introducing your cat to a new home, try to create one room in your home where you can let the cat out of their travel crate and allow them to explore these new surroundings at their own pace.
Ensure that the doors and windows are closed to eliminate them escaping the area and place familiar items such as blankets or toys around the room.
Another great tip is to utilise a Feliway diffuser. Feliway diffusers are a fantastic way to create a peaceful and calming environment which can make adjusting to new stimuli less stressful for cats. Cats communicate through natural pheromones and the diffuser works in much the same way as a regular fragrance diffuser, spreading this comforting pheromone message in the cat’s environment.
Just screw the pheromone vial into the Feliway diffuser and plug it into an electrical socket and leave to diffuse the pheromone continuously. Ensure that the diffuser isn’t blocked by cupboards or doors to allow for complete permeation of the new environment.
As your cat begins to adjust to the new environment over the course of several days, start to introduce them to more and more rooms in your house and monitor their behaviour. You can even utilise multiple diffusers to create that comforting environment throughout the house.
By controlling your cat’s environment and using a Feliway Diffuser you can decrease the time it takes to get your cat use to their new surroundings, which means more time enjoying your pet’s company.
Keeno (left) and Levi (right) explore their new enclosure at Zoodoo zoo.
The Serval cat might not be as widely known as their distant relations, the Cheetah, but these wild cats are some of nature’s most successful hunters. The Serval cat is native to Africa and can often be found near wetlands and savannahs. Known for their long legs, extended necks and rotating ears, the Serval is highly evolved to hunt in the long grasses and reeds with its perfect spotted camouflage.
Last month Jetpets had the pleasure of transporting not one, but two of these amazing animals. The male Serval cats, Keeno and Levi were flying out of Melbourne airport and were on their way to their new home at Zoodoo Zoo in Tasmania.
The Servals flew in style with special travel crates that allowed them to view their surroundings, receive plenty of airflow and have access to a constant supply of fresh water.
Jetpets Pet Handler, David Garvey poses for a photo while checking on Keeno and Levi before their flight.
The Servals destination was a purpose-built enclosure constructed at Zoodoo Zoo and has been created to meet the Servals every need with large logs, tall branches and numerous high up ledges, perfect for perching on and sunbathing.
“Keeno and Levi have adapted to their new surroundings exceptionally well and both were eager to explore their enclosure and climb trees and branches when first released. The two boys will eagerly approach staff to receive lots of pats and cuddles and cannot resist playing with the toys they always bring too”, Elyshia Wignell, Exotic Animal Leader at Zoodoo Zoo.
Levi (left) and Keeno (right) explore their new enclosure after their flight from Melbourne.
While Servals are often considered solitary animals in the wild these two handsome cats are becoming more accustomed to having company.
“Keeno is the more dominant of the two Servals and Levi can be seen sometimes hanging back a little when Keeno is playing with the keepers. However, Levi is very confident, smoochy and absolutely adores attention, said Elyshia.
While it is more common for us here at Jetpets to transport cats of the domestic variety, the last 18 months have seen us involved in the transport of two White Lions, Caracals, Cheetahs and even a Snow Leopard.
“Our experience with Jetpets was wonderful, from organising the booking, to the animal’s care…we had no problems with the service we received. The entire Jetpets team has been a pleasure to deal with from start to finish and we would have no hesitation with sending or receiving animals through this service”, said Elyshia.
Keeno playing among the various logs and perches in his purpose-built enclosure.
Zoodoo Zoo offers the chance to get up close and personal with a wide variety of animals. Offering the chance to “get closer to most animals than you ever thought possible”, Zoodoo Zoo is the perfect destination for a fun family animal experience. If you would like to have your own Serval experience, please click through to Zoodoo zoo’s website in the link below for more information.
On my recent trip to Melbourne, I was invited to visit the JetPets headquarters at Tullamarine airport. What a great opportunity to see a pet transport service in operation. They even had my coffee order waiting on me when I arrived. Service for people and pets! Here’s an account of my visit…
Meeting some of the Jetpets workers!
Who are Jetpets?
Do you ever travel with your pet? By air? What would you do if you had to relocate to another town or city or even country? If you love your pet, I’m sure that you’d want to take them with you. This is where Jetpets comes in.
Jetpets have specialist teams to handle animal travel and I met a representative from each of these teams:
The domestic team handles state to state transport, which covers families going on holidays or moving with their pets, helping with rescue partners transport and providing a service for certified and lawful breeders.
The international team work with customers relocating overseas or in some cases, adventure seekers who are travelling with their pets on holidays.
The corporate team, who are highly specialised experts and provide a personalised service for the world’s most respected zoos and aquarium. Given the exotic and often endangered nature of these species, each transport is tailored specifically to the client and the animal’s needs. (Just iin case you need to transport a tiger!)
The import team assists with clients immigrating to Australia with their pets, providing information about quarantine and country import regulations.
Jetpets have grown and grown over the years but still retains the comforting feel of a family business. I was impressed by the level of customer service, from the initial call, right through to providing individual care for you and your pet’s (or your tiger!) needs.
Concern for animals
Obviously, pet parents worry when their pet is being transported. And Jetpets take the welfare of their pets during transport seriously.
Strict processes and procedures are in place to ensure the welfare, comfort and safety of all animals in their care. This includes staff veterinarians, experienced pet handlers, all animal facilities, and customised services, to ensure that each unique travellers needs are addressed. A dedicated pet travel consultant even monitors the weather at major airports across Australia in case of extreme weather instances.
I was impressed at the levels of security. Just having a carry case was not enough security for the pet. Each case was secured with numerous cable ties to ensure that no pet could escape during transportation. Even just going from room to room, pets were secured.
Travelling with animal handler Dave Higgins and pets in transit, at Jetpets animal transit facilities.
Pets in transit
I toured the animal transit facilities and my thoughts are that I’d like to check in next time I have time to spare at an airport! Pet owners can bring their pets here directly prior to travel and Jetpets will take care of all their transportation needs (but if that’s too difficult, then you can arrange Jetpets to pick your pet up from home).
Jetpets transit lounge facilities provide an opportunity for animal travellers to get out of the crate, stretch their legs and get some cuddles and attention from the pet handlers. All pets are continuously monitored while waiting for their flights and each pet’s needs are met, whether that be medication, diet or extra exercise.
Cats and dogs are kept separately and, while I was there, the animal handlers turned the cats’ cages away from any dogs in the vicinity to prevent any direct visual exposure at the airport transit facility. Dogs are walked on grassy areas around the transit facilities. Jetpets Transit Lounge facilities are located at Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland and the company will interact with other reputable animal transport companies in other countries around the world.
So, why move pets with Jetpets?
Jetpets are aware of all laws and regulations in the country, state and area of your pet’s destination. They will be able to advise you ahead of time what you need to do to make your journey as smooth as possible. For example, if your pet needs vaccination prior to travel.
Jetpets will deliver an appropriately sized crate to your home for your pet to get used to being in a carry case. This ensures that your pet has the greatest chance of travelling stress-free, as they will be accustomed to their crate and it will feel like a secure home. Jetpets have a video to help you get your pet used to the crate (see below).
Jetpets have vets at its transit centres, ensuring that your pet is healthy during travel.
Your pet will have a transit lounge to retire to, in case of flight delays or longer transit times. Just like you may enjoy access to a flight lounge, your pet will be exercised, fed and comfortable. For example, if your pet’s flight is delayed, the animal handlers will bring your pet back to the transit centre to stay until the flight is ready to depart.
If your pet needs care during their transit, then Jetpets will handle it. If your cat poops, just prior to being loaded on the plane, for example, if you are solely responsible, then you may be called off your flight to attend to your cat (missing your flight in the process!). Easier to have a Jetpets handler deal with it.
Your pets can be taken care of from home to home. They can be picked up from you, delivered to quarantine facilities (if required) and transported to your ultimate destination. Peace of mind for you.
Jetpets offer a safe, comfortable and convenient transport service for your pet. More than this, however, they offer peace of mind for you, the pet owner. Next time you travel, consider using a pet transport company, like Jetpets, for your pet.
Dr Jo Righetti and her pup Chilli relaxing in the park
Interpreting our beloved pet’s behaviour can sometimes be a puzzling challenge for the untrained and until our dogs are able to talk to us, (fingers crossed for soon), it’s best to rely on advice from professionals. Dr Jo Righetti is one of Australia’s leading pet behaviourists and has been providing pet lovers with insightful professional advice on their pets for over 20 years.
With Dr Jo Righetti joining us as a sponsor for the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2018 we thought it would be a great opportunity to ask Dr Jo Righetti if she had any tips or advice for those wanting to travel with their beloved pets.
Relaxing your pet
Many pet owners report that when they are experiencing stress, often their pet will pick up on it and alter their behaviour. To ensure that your pet doesn’t take on your stress try to eliminate situations that cause you stress when at home with your pet.
“Pets may pick up on your stress, so try to remain as calm as you can when travelling or preparing to travel. Make written lists and tick them off as you complete them. Double check your pet’s travel arrangements in the lead up to the day of departure. Check their ID. If you are confident in your pet’s arrangements, then you can relax and begin to enjoy your travel.”
You might think sedating your pet during transit could avoid anxiety or stress but in fact sedating your pet can lead to serious problems arising during travel. When a pet is sedated they are more likely to have breathing interference or a reaction to the medication. Sedation also results in pets not being able to drink water provided in their crate leading to dehydration risks.
“Most pets do not require to be tranquilized during travel. If you have an anxious pet, discuss with your veterinarian ways to relax your pet without tranquilizers.”
Crate train before travel
Our pets can be more susceptible to stress and anxiety when placed in an unfamiliar situation such as a travel crate. You can show your pet that there is nothing to fear by spending some time crate training your dog. Jetpets can bring your travel crate to your door in the weeks prior travel to give you the time you need to acclimatise your pet to the pet travel crate.
“Make your pet’s crate as pleasant as possible by introducing your pet to it in a gradual, positive way. Allow your pet to enter the crate on their own, enticing them with taste treats or a favourite toy. Place their bed or a blanket in there too. Each time they go into the crate, extend the time they spend there. Begin to close the door, taking care not to frighten your pet and, again, extend the time they spend in their crate.”
Watch our step by step crate training video
Introduce new stimulus slowly
Many of our clients use our services when they are moving interstate or internationally, often for a job or life change. Sometimes this can lead to a pet becoming uneasy in their new surroundings. Slow it down and introduce new environments or a new home to your pet gradually. This can lead to your pet becoming more comfortable in their new surroundings.
“When pets have anxiety or stress about any aspect of life, the best way to deal with this is through desensitisation. This means gradual and controlled introductions to the frightening stimulus. If your pet is moving to an area without a garden, for instance, then get them used to new ways of exercising prior to this change. If you have to set up a new home, then you may find it beneficial to board your pet for a few days or have them stay with a friend, while you sort out your living arrangements. Then you can bring your pet into their new but more familiar area where they have their bed, blankets toys and food dishes. And, of course, the most important thing in your pet’s life is you! Stay as calm as you can. Keep your pet’s routines the same.”
Saying goodbye and saying hello
Saying goodbye to our pets to go to work can sometimes be difficult but what about if it is for a few days or even weeks? The trick here is to make it part of your pet’s routine well beforehand to avoid the puppy tears.
“Say goodbye matter-of-factly to your pet. Practice beforehand if this is hard. Put your pet in their crate, say goodbye and quickly walk away. If your pet has had this done a hundred times before, they will not react. Plus, you can give them a treat to occupy them and make it positive. When you say hello, it’s difficult not to go over the top but this can create anxiety in your pet. So, keep calm and ensure you pet is healthy on your reunion and is safe when you let them explore.”
Dr Jo is the founder of one of Australia’s most trusted dog behaviour websites petproblemsolved.com.au
Doctor Jo Righetti is the founder of the fantastic pet resource petproblemsolved.com.au. With loads of professional advice and information on pet behaviour its your number one resource for any pet problems you may need solved.