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Shipping a 280kg live animal to its new home

Milak the polar bear has travelled safe and sound over the Atlantic Ocean to a new life in Canada.

Milak never once complained about the service from DSV. The six-year-old polar bear Milak has moved from Aalborg Zoo in Denmark to a new life in Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien.

"Milak was too old to be with her mother, so we had to find a new place for her. It is only natural for polar bear mothers to force out their young when they reach a certain age," says veterinarian Katrine Christensen at Aalborg Zoo

How does a polar bear keep its cool?

Not everyone can ship a large polar bear from Denmark to Canada. The bear must be awake for the entire shipment and everything has to be kept very calm so the large animal does not become agitated. That is why Aalborg Zoo asks DSV to help whenever one of their animals needs to be shipped safely across the globe as part of their species preservation programme.

Milak’s travels had several stages and DSV was along for all of them. First, the bear was moved to a specially designed cage, and then she was driven to Amsterdam. From there, she was flown to Montreal by cargo plane. Finally, a truck drove her to her new home at Zoo Sauvage.

Thinking out of the box
Milak did not want to enter the cage as planned, so it was necessary for the veterinarian to tranquilize her so she could be carried inside the custom-built metal box. When looking closely, freight forwarder Anja Bege Knudsen of DSV noticed that the box was higher than the 160 cm that would fit through the airplane hatch. The cage was quickly modified while the 280 kg polar bear slept peacefully. When Milak awoke inside the newly modified box, the transport could begin.

We are very happy that Anja from DSV was with us for the entire journey. She made sure Milak was safe and we were impressed with her attention to detail. Overall, the service we have received from DSV with this special shipment was amazing.

 Trine Hammer Jensen, veterinarian at Aalborg Zoo

Milak arrived safely in Canada with a beautiful red bow around her transport box. Zoo Sauvage was very grateful for the wonderful present, and Milak’s new polar bear family have welcomed the Danish immigrant as well.

About Aalborg Zoo

Aalborg Zoo opened in April 1935. The zoo’s area covers 8 hectares, sheltering more than 1,200 animals of 138 species. The overall purpose of Aalborg Zoo is conservation of animals and the nature they live in, directly through international breeding partnerships and support to conservation projects in the wild, and indirectly through the dissemination of knowledge about endangered animals.

About Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien

With its 75 species, Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien (Wild Zoo of St-Félicien) is one of the biggest zoos in North America, covering 4.86 km2. With its unique Nature Trail Park, which visitors see by train, as well as its vast animal habitats, the zoo is dedicated to conservation of wildlife from subarctic climates. It is managed by the Centre for Conservation of Boreal Biodiversity Inc.

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