Giant Pandas Lumi and Pyry have settled into their new home at Ahtari Zoo in Finland after travelling from China onboard one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ freighter aircraft.
Mikhail Smirnykh, General Director of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, commented: “This flight in support of such an important wildlife preservation programme was special for our company so we are delighted to hear that Lumi and Pyry have acclimatised so quickly to their new surroundings.”
Volga-Dnepr’s transportation expertise is often called upon to support preservation, inter-governmental partnerships or humanitarian missions.
The delivery of Lumi and Pyry was performed under a joint programme of the People’s Republic of China and Finland aimed at the preservation and study of giant pandas. Their arrival in Finland followed the signing of an agreement in 2017 by the Preservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas in Dujiangyan, which agreed to transfer the two pandas to Ahtari Zoo for a set time period.
During the flight, the pandas were accompanied by one of their keepers and a vet from the Finnish zoo, who ensured their safety and well-being throughout the journey. To monitor the conditions onboard the aircraft, special measuring equipment was acquired for the flight. One hour before landing, the crew gradually lowered the temperature in the cargo hold to 10°C to help the pandas acclimatize gradually for their arrival in snow-covered Helsinki. Onboard the aircraft, they enjoyed their usual food rations, including chopped bamboo shoots, carrots and apples.