12/07/2020, 10:00 AM CET

Wildlife on board: DHL safely relocates "the world's loneliest elephant"

This "long-haul" flight took months of careful and extensive planning.

Kaavan, also known as the world's loneliest elephant, received global attention for his living conditions in the Marghazar Zoo.

  • The carefully planned temperature-controlled multimodal journey of Kaavan started from Islamabad and ended in a sanctuary in Cambodia
  • The logistics leader worked with global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS and veterinary specialists to ensure a safe and comfortable ride 
  • First-ever adult elephant that was flown out of Pakistan is now safe and sound in his new home

Bonn - Kaavan, a 36-year old Asian elephant is settling in his new home in Cambodia after his flight from Islamabad, Pakistan. This "long-haul" flight took months of careful and extensive planning by FOUR PAWS, a global animal welfare organization, veterinary specialists and DHL Global Forwarding. The international freight specialist arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group took care of the logistics, including the necessary customs authorization for the transportation of Kaavan, from his previous home at the Marghazar Zoo.

"Over the years, DHL has transported different kinds of goods, overcoming several challenges. However, the transport of animals is always an extraordinary task," stated Thomas Mack, Global Head of Air Freight DHL Global Forwarding, "The multimodal journey had to be planned very carefully. Temperature was controlled throughout the flight and Kaavan was accompanied by veterinaries to make sure he is safe. With our expertise and our global network, we were able to successfully relocate him to his new long-term sanctuary." 

After a medical check, the Asian elephant had taken a truck ride, from the zoo to the Islamabad International Airport to start the long-awaited journey to his new home at Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary 30th of November. With a weight of over four tons and a height of more than three meters, the transport of elephant Kaavan had to be planned and handled with sure instinct. Kaavan, also known as the world's loneliest elephant, received global attention for his living conditions in the Marghazar Zoo. To prepare for the journey, Kaavan received special training for several weeks to securely enter his crate. The elephant was accompanied by a team of wildlife veterinarians who watched over him and kept him calm.

"The highly-anticipated journey is the result of months of planning and coordination with DHL and various animal specialists, such as the team from EKIPA, with the support of local Pakistan officials, American businessman Eric S. Margolis and Cher's non-governmental organization 'Free The Wild'. Kaavan has been relocated to provide him with species-appropriate environment and for the care that he requires, and every possible effort has been made to ensure that the trip, which is his passageway to a better life, is safe and comfortable for him," said Dr. Amir Khalil, FOUR PAWS veterinarian and leader of the rescue mission.

In 2018, DHL successfully helped four grown endangered Ussuri brown bears travel across continents from Japan to England, and sent two giant pandas on a climate-neutral journey from China to Finland.

David Stöppler

Spokesperson for DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Freight, DHL eCommerce Solutions

Deutsche Post DHL Group
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 20
53113 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 182 9944

Twitter: @dpdhl_stoeppler