How do you transport two Lionesses from one side of Australia to the other?

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.

 

 

 

 

Jetpets Transports First Full-Size Sea Turtle

Jetpets assists in Olive Ridley Sea Turtle rehabilitation program
Jetpets assists in Olive Ridley Sea Turtle rehabilitation program

Jetpets are no stranger to servicing unique animal transportation needs and when we were recently contacted by Sydney’s Sea Life aquarium we were excited to learn that we would be transporting a female Sea Turtle named, “Extra Virgin”.

You might be wondering, “Why such a strange name for a turtle?”, so please allow me to explain.

“Extra Virgin” is a member of the Olive Ridley species of marine turtles. The species are known by their olive-green hue…hence the comedic nickname.

According to the World Wildlife Federation’s (WWF) website the Olive Ridley turtle’s status is considered “vulnerable”. This is due to several reasons including how fragile their breeding cycle is, with hatchling turtles returning to the same place they were born to lay their own eggs once the reach maturity. As these hatchling locations are so specific and infrequent, any damage or change to their environment could adversely affect the entire species. The turtles are also impacted by plastic rubbish, commercial fishing practices, poaching and water pollution.

Extra Virgin will return to the ocean after she completes her rehabilitation period
Extra Virgin will return to the ocean after she completes her rehabilitation period

With such precious cargo in our care it was imperative that we pulled out all the stops to ensure that Extra Virgin reached her destination safely.

Through consultation we were able to assist in preparing Extra Virgin’s travel crate to make it more comfortable during her flight to QLD. We also liaised with the airlines to ensure that she spent no unnecessary time in crate.

Extra Virgin was being transported to undertake rehabilitation for a minor injury at her new home at Sealife on the Sunshine coast. Once she has fully recovered she will be released back into the wild to re-join the rest of her species.

Extra Virgin Is placed in to her rehabilitation tank after her journey
Extra Virgin Is placed in to her rehabilitation tank after her journey

special mention also needs to go to Jetpets’ Pet Handler Kellie, who did a fantastic job of picking up Extra Virgin and getting her safely to the rehabilitation tank to begin her recovery.

If you would like to visit Sealife on the Sunshine coast you can visit their website here to get all the details.

Jetpets assists in the establishment of new Cheetah Breeding Program in Sydney

Recently Jetpets had the pleasure of assisting in the relocation of two female Cheetah from South Africa to their new home at the Wild Animal Encounter Conservation Centre in Hawkesbury, north of Sydney. The Cheetah sisters, Ziva and Zane are joining a brand new conservation breeding program for Cheetah being established at Wild Animal Encounters.


With less than 7000 Cheetah remaining on earth, captive breeding programs are vitally important as insurance populations to safe guard against extinction of species such as Cheetah.

The success of the Cheetah Breeding Program in Sydney rests in the very capable hands of Wild Animal Encounter’s company Director, Ben Britton who you may recognise as the host of Australia’s Nat Geo Wild program.

Ben’s name has become synonymous with exotic wildlife education and throughout his 20-year career Ben has starred in several documentaries and television programs aimed at educating the public on animal behaviour and conservation.

“I’d like to thank Jetpets, and in particular the Sydney team for their assistance with this project. The Cheetah have arrived safe and sound, and both animals are out exploring their new environment…”, said Ben.

Wild Animal Encounters is not government funded and they rely heavily on donations and the support of the public to continue their important work promoting conservation both in Sydney and in Botswana, where they have been working for over 10 years to conserve wild cat populations. Private tours of their Conservation Centre in Sydney offer the unique opportunity to meet these amazing creatures while supporting the important work Wild Animal Encounters does.

We wish Ziva and Zane the very best as they explore their new environment and we will endeavour to check in with them in the future to bring you any updates.

For a limited time, you can meet Ziva and Zane, just visit www.wildanimalencounters.com.au for more details.

Jetpets Assists in Chimpanzee Breeding Program

On the remote western edge of Africa, in the country of Sierra Leone, lies a great belt of tropical rainforest home to some of the worlds most unique and beautiful animals, Chimpanzees. Due to significant pressure from the illegal bush meat trade, rising human populations and deforestation, these populations are under threat.

Monarto Zoo in South Australia is working directly with the Jane Goodall Institute and the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre to combat the threats to this amazing population. Monarto Zoo’s Chimpanzee breeding program was recently bolstered by the addition of two new females from Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

Hannah and Lani were transported by Jetpets last month to join their new brothers and sister at Monarto Zoo and they are settling in, in their own unique ways.

Hannah was initially nervous in meeting her new troop but quickly overcame her social anxiety to settle in to a mothering role.

“They are doing really well and have settled in better than we could ever imagine. Hannah is just amazing with Enzi (our 2 ½ year old male chimp). She can be seen at times carrying him around, and he really likes her a lot. Our alpha male Tsosti has taken a liking to Hanna and is supportive of her in any disputes”, said Monarto Zoo’s Team Leader Althea Guinsberg.

While the playful and social, Lani, has taken to grooming her new-found friends after sitting back and observing for a while.

“Lani is doing well; in the beginning she was not happy and that affected her appetite, but this did not take long to change and soon she was foraging with the troop. She gets on well with our one adult female Galatea and the two have some great grooming sessions. Gombe, one of our males, also loves grooming with Lani and they get on really well”, said Althea.

With Chimpanzees being classified as an endangered species with approximately 150,000 to 300,000 chimps remaining in the wild it’s never been a better time to support the conservation work being done by Monarto Zoo and their partners. If you would like to donate and assist in the important work they do, you can do so by visiting this link or if you are in South Australia stop by Monarto Zoo for the ultimate chimpanzee experience.

Koalas home safe and sound

You may remember back in March this year Jetpets helped relocate Hamilton Islands koalas after Cyclone Debbie destroyed their habitat. Now it’s time for their return trip home and Jetpets were there once again to ensure the safe transportation of these iconic animals.

A last-minute surge by the category four system, Cyclone Debbie on its way to mainland Queensland, Australia brought the extreme weather event directly over the top of Hamilton island, home to 1,208 Queenslanders and thousands of the islands rich and diverse wildlife species.

The cyclone which hit Queensland in March this year left behind a trail of destruction and as no evacuation order was issued to Hamilton island the residents and the wildlife were forced to hunker down and make the best of a bad situation.

The cyclone battered the island with 263km winds, rain and all manner of debris, kicked up by the incredible winds while residents cowered indoors hoping to escape the fury of the storm.

Once cyclone Debbie had past the sheer destruction was described as “looking like world war 3”. Debbie destroyed businesses, property and hundreds of eucalyptus trees, which is the koala’s main food source as well as their homes.

With their habitat in disarray the people at Australia Zoo reached out to Wild Life Hamilton Island and offered to house the koala’s and two dingoes, with them while their environment was rebuilt and the trees given a chance to regrow and recover. Jetpets stepped in to make this possible and assisted in moving the animals to their temporary home at Australia Zoo.

While the residents are still rebuilding and repairing extensive damage after six months, the island has been deemed safe for the return of the koalas and Jetpets were only too happy to assist in bringing them home. With tourist wildlife activities kicking off again on September the 15th the koalas are back just in time to step back in to the limelight.

We are very proud to be in a position to assist in the amazing work that Australian Zoos do on a daily basis and we support their efforts as they continue to preserve and protect Australia’s native wildlife.

All Creatures Great And Small

As you know, it’s not just about cats and dogs here at Jetpets, we are proud to transport all creatures great and small, both domestically and across the globe!

Did you know in recent times..

  • We transported two Lions all the way from Denmark to Australia
  • We also transported Otana the Gorilla to Melbourne Zoo
  • We transported Polo, the Lemur in search of love from Perth to Canberra
  • We arranged VIP flights for Koalas who travelled to their new home in Japan
  • We transported the worlds most endangered crocodiles for a breeding program in the Philippines

You name it, we’ll move it!

 

 

 

Zoo Tales

pc-3This month it was our pleasure to relocate some of the world’s most endangered crocodiles from Melbourne Zoo to their native homeland, the Philippines.

Melbourne Zoo is one of the only zoos to breed this rare species. With so few left in the wild, (only around 250) the Melbourne-born crocodiles will be warmly welcomed by the Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Centre, which is the Philippine Government’s main breeding and release facility.

Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner says that “to be able to breed such endangered animals and then return some to the home of their species is a rare and important event. It is a real credit to the skills and dedication of our Reptile Keepers that our breeding program is so successful.”

Read more about these amazing crocodiles and their move to the Philippines here.

237A0097We were also lucky enough this month to transport the very handsome Polo, a black and white ruffed lemur from Perth Zoo to his new home at the National Zoo in Canberra.

Polo has been carefully matched with Setra, a female Lemur at the National Zoo, and it is hoped the two will hit it off, helping to keep their species from extinction. The great hope is that Polo and Setra will start a new family together. Unfortunately, their species is critically endangered due to habitat destruction in their homeland, the African island of Madagascar, where they are also hunted for food and the pet trade.

Perth Zoo senior curator Kay Bradfield says that Polo was much loved by Perth Zoo’s keepers and visitors but he could now help his species be sustainable. “Sending them out sometimes is bittersweet but it is really exciting,” she said. “Polo is going somewhere where he gets to have the opportunity to breed and do what he should.”

Read more about this story here.

Happy (Zoo) Travellers from 2014

lion-yawn-WORZ-animal-profile-web620This year we helped move all creatures great and small, to and from Zoo’s Victoria!

From lions to lemurs, zebras to penguins – and everything in between!

Some of our ‘Happy (Zoo) Travellers’ this year included Nairibi and Nilo the lions who travelled from Denmark to their new home at Werribee Zoo, Kwasi the zebra who came to Melbourne Zoo from Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand and Feisty the seal, who arrived at Melbourne Zoo from Seaworld on the Gold Coast.zebra-worz-1-animal-profile-web620

(You may remember Feisty’s story from earlier this year, click here to read more about her journey.)

We love working with Zoo’s Victoria and look forward to taking you behind the scenes of some exciting zoo moves in 2015 – stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out some of our ‘Happy (Zoo) Travellers’ from 2014 in our short video below.

To learn more about Zoo’s Victoria, or to plan your visit to see some of these gorgeous animals, click here: www.zoo.org.au

 

 

 

Exciting News From The Zoo

The Gorilla’s Are Expecting!

Otana-news-melbourne-Pamela_Condor-web620

In 2013, we helped transport Otana the gorilla from Howlett’s Wild Animal Park in the U.K to Melbourne Zoo, after he was selected to be the new breeding male following the sad passing of longtime Zoo resident Rigo. Well, we have an exciting update – Otana is going to be a father!

Mother-to-be Kimya is the first expectant gorilla in 14 years at Melbourne Zoo and we are very happy to hear of Otana’s exciting news!

Find out more about Otana and Melbourne Zoo’s gorilla breeding program by clicking here.

Koalas head to Hirakawa Zoo

Last month we were lucky enough to transport 3 beautiful Koalas to their new home at Hirakawa Zoo in Kagoshima, Japan!

The Koalas, Boonda, Franc and Brandy, headed from their home at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast to Japan – in style! For the move, Jetpets had crates custom built just for them that featured Indigenous artwork created by the local Aboriginal community.

We were extremely excited to be a part of this move and know that our friends in Japan will enjoy visiting these Koalas in their new home soon!

For more information on Hirakawa Zoo, visit: http://hirakawazoo.jp/lang/en/

Koala shot 2  IMG_0329