On June 22nd, aboard flight TP439, from Paris, Gowi Nee Bu, a two-year-old male koala, traveled to Lisbon and is now living at the capital's Zoo as part of the Conservation programs for endangered species.
The marsupial, whose Aboriginal given name means "red-breasted robin", traveled in the cabin of the A320neo with CS-TVI registration, accompanied by Paula Pinto from TAP Air Cargo, and Maria da Paz, his new caregiver from the Lisbon Zoo. According to Paula Pinto, "this animal is extremely sensitive. For that reason, we have to be extremely careful with sounds and tremors. Everything must be done extremely carefully, so that the animal does not get stressed". It is, therefore, a quite delicate transport that Paula Pinto assures has gone as smoothly as possible.
Close to reaching sexual maturity, this koala from ZooParc de Beauval in France will be one of the protagonists in the conservation and expansion of its own species, which is threatened with extinction, aggravated by the severe fires that have affected Australia in recent years. Maria da Paz explains that "there is a reproduction program, in partnership with several zoos, whose objective is to protect the species". After a careful study, "animals with different genetic information are crossed to increase the DNA of the species and make it viable in the long term. Obviously, the ultimate goal is always the introduction into the natural habitat or, at the very least, ensuring that there are enough animals to increase the genetic pool of those already existing in the wild," emphasizes the caretaker.
TAP Air Cargo always rigorously complies with all the requirements of the IATA regulations regarding the air transportation of live animals and the Convention on International Trade in the Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Since 2015, it prohibits the shipment of animal trophies, laboratory animals, and any parts of animals listed as "Endangered Species" as cargo. In 2017, the Company became a signatory of the Buckingham Palace Declaration aimed at reducing the illegal wildlife trade, following the IATA's 2016 AGM Resolution unanimously approved, denouncing the illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products. It also committed to partnering with governmental authorities and conservation organizations in the fight against the trafficking of protected species.
Watch the video of this very special flight here.