Volga-Dnepr Continues to Support the Reintroduction of Endangered Horses in Russia
Volga-Dnepr Group is continuing their support of the program to reintroduce endangered Przewalski horses in the Ural steppe of Russia, and most recently ensured safe delivery of the latest 14 horses from the Hortobágy National Park in Hungary.
The horses each traveled in their own special horse stall on-board a Boeing 737-400SF freighter operated by Atran Airlines, the Group’s regional and express cargo airline, in cooperation with Volga-Dnepr Airlines and AirBridgeCargo Airlines. The temperature in the cargo cabin was maintained at 18-20°C for the four-hour night-time flight from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport to the city of Orenburg on the steppe beyond the Ural Mountains. Experts from the national park were on hand to ensure the well-being of the horses during the loading process and on arrival in Russia.
Now safely at their new home, the 14 horses will spend several months in quarantine as they become acclimatized to their new surroundings before they join the group of Przewalski horses that arrived in the region from France just over a year ago. In 2015, Volga-Dnepr Group carried a herd of six horses to Orenburg from Montpellier in France. They were joined on that 737F flight by representatives of the Association for the Przewalski Horse. These horses have now completed their acclimatization and were successfully released into the steppe last October.
Przewalski horses are one of the rarest and most endangered subspecies of wild horse on the planet and had become extinct in their original habitat, the Central Asian and Mongolian steppe. With the support of the Hortobágy National Park, which currently has a herd of 380 Przewalski horses on a protected area of 2,400 hectares, they are slowly being reintroduced into the Orenburg nature reserve.
Alexey Grebinyak, Lead Load Planning Specialist at AirBridgeCargo Airlines, said: “This is our second flight on behalf of this program so we have a lot of experience in terms of he conditions required on-board the aircraft and how to prepare the stables for the flight as well as the horses’ behavior during the flight. It is a great honor for us to be able to use our expertise in transporting live animals to support this important and historic program to reintroduce Przewalski horses in the Ural steppes. The horses we delivered last year have now been released into the nature reserve and the same will be true of the latest 14 horses once their complete their quarantine period. We hope to be part of more flights in the future to help protect the future of the Przewalski horse for future generations.”