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DHL Global Forwarding Transports Panda Couple from China to Finland

DHL Global Forwarding recently moved two giant pandas from Chengdu, China to Ahtari, Finland. The male, Huá Bào, or Pyry by its new Finnish name, aged four, and the female, Jín Bàobào, or Lumi, aged three, arrived at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland on January 18 on their own charter flight.

The journey of the pandas from the Dujiangya giant panda center took them first to the Chengdu airport on January 17, from where they were flown 6,500 kilometers directly to Helsinki on an Iljushin 76 freighter aircraft chartered for the purpose. They were accompanied by two animal handlers and two veterinary physicians and had a supply of 120 kilograms of bamboo on board. After the official welcoming ceremony at the airport with distinguished representatives of Finland and China, a DHL truck took them to Ahtari, some 300 km away in central Finland, where a local “panda carnival” had been arranged to welcome the long awaited new inhabitants of the zoo.

“We’re proud to be part of the ‘pandastic’ journey of Huá Bào and Jín Bàobào as they make their way to Helsinki, and into the hearts of millions of Finnish people. Extensive planning and organization goes into executing a move like this flawlessly, ensuring the wellbeing of our precious cargo along the way,” said Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Greater China. “Offsetting the carbon emissions from the flight of the pandas also highlights the possibilities of carbon neutral shipping options as more companies and organizations choose to GoGreen in their daily operations.”

Finland and the People’s Republic of China signed a 15-year agreement on joint research on giant pandas last spring. The removal of Lumi and Pyry to Ahtari Zoo is part of the agreement.

The Finnish climate with its snowy winter is similar to that in the giant pandas’ natural habitat in the mountains in China. This was one of the key reasons why Chinese panda experts chose to relocate the panda couple to Finland and Ahtari. Ahtari offers the pandas an environment typical for the species; this will hopefully lead to natural breeding.

The newly constructed Snowpanda house of Ahtari Zoo – including the giant panda’s indoor living rooms and an outdoor playing park – occupy some 10,000 square meters and is one of the largest in the world. Top experts from the panda center inspected the facilities in November and stated it to be the best outside of China.