Turns out you can ship just about everything using FedEx. This week Kali, a 2 ½ year old male polar was delivered to the St Louis Zoo.
Orphaned as a cub when his mother was unknowingly killed by a hunter during a subsistence hunt Kali was turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) during March 2013. In May 2013 he found a temporary home at the Buffalo Zoo.
While he was in Buffalo the USFWS and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP) decided that St Louis would be his permanent home. SSPs help to manage populations of threatened species in captivity.
In St Louis Kali will take up residence in the new McDonnell Polar Bear Point Exhibit which will open on June 6th.
His transport to St. Louis took place on May 5. It was donated by FedEx who flew him from Rochester New, York to Memphis where a FedEx Custom Critical truck was waiting for the final leg of the journey to St Louis.
During the journey he was in a specially designed 1,000lb (453.6kg) aluminium crate. He was accompanied on his trip by a vet and two attendants.
“We are extremely grateful to FedEx for their generosity in transporting Kali with such care and attention to his well-being,” said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo. “Their professionalism and top-notch service were exemplary.”
“FedEx is committed to the conservation of at-risk animal populations, and we’re proud to have played a part in Kali’s journey,” said Neil Gibson, vice president FedEx corporate communications. “We applaud the work of the Saint Louis Zoo and wish Kali a bright and happy future in his new home.”
FedEx is experienced in the transport of rescued animals having shipped sea turtles, seals and giant pandas in the past.
At the present time Kali is not on show. He needs to complete a standard 30-day quarantine that will allow him to adjust to his new surroundings and diet. It also helps prevent the spread of disease. He will make his debut at the same time as the new exhibit.
Curator of carnivores at St. Louis Zoo, Steve Bircher said, “Kali arrived safe and sound and is adjusting nicely to his new surroundings.”
The new polar bear habitat is 40,000 square foot (3716 square metres). It will also allow him to get close to visitors at the 22ft (6.7m) long viewing window.
Photo Credit: Kelly Ann Brown/ Buffalo Zoo