Apr 07, 2017: Coyne Airways carried a tiger, seven red-necked wallabies, six barbary sheep and 24 African penguins to their new home in Tbilisi zoo by Boeing 777 freighter.
The animals were donated as part of a project to repopulate the zoo, following a flood, caused by a freak storm on 14th June 2015, in which several of zoo's animal inhabitants and at least 20 human lives were claimed.
A significant number of the animals which survived the flood escaped onto the streets of Tbilisi, leading to the broadcast of surreal scenes worldwide, including a giant African hippopotamus grazing on roadside greenery, and bears perched next to air conditioning units on the first floor of a residential building, struggling to stay above water.
Once the waters receded, the zoo had lost over half of its pre-flood population, with more than 300 animals either having drowned or shot by emergency forces.
Martyn Griffin, sales manager, Coyne Airways, said, "Efforts to rebuild the zoo have been ongoing since the tragedy struck, and Tbilisi Zoo has received international support and donations. We were delighted to play a part in the recovery effort, by flying the animals on our weekly Boeing 777 freighter flight from Amsterdam to Tbilisi."
The animals were transported in pallets and crates, in line with International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Live Animals Regulations (LAR), the worldwide standard for transporting live animals by commercial airlines.
Coyne Airways regularly transports a range of animals to Tbilisi for the Zoo. The animals are delivered just a few hours before the flight to reduce the time they spend in the cages and in the warehouse, and everything is ready for when they arrive so they board quickly.