Endangered rhinos flown from Africa to U.S. sanctuary

Wednesday Apr 26, 2017

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Eleven Endangered White Rhinos safely transported by Western Global Airlines from Africa to wildlife sanctuary in U.S.

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ESTERO, Fla. (April 25, 2017) – As part of an international conservation effort to protect the white rhinoceros from extinction, Southwest-Florida based Western Global Airlines safely airlifted eleven endangered white rhinos from Johannesburg South Africa to an undisclosed wildlife conservation center in the Eastern United States. Western Global Airlines, a leading U.S. certified FAA 121 all cargo airline with worldwide coverage, was contracted by Network Airline Management (NAM) on behalf of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) which champions the survival of the world’s rhinos, to relocate these magnificent animals due to severe poaching and habitat loss in Africa. The eleven rhinos were accompanied by a veterinarian for the 15-hour flight aboard one of Western Global Airlines’ highly efficient MD-11 freighter aircraft, then transported to a sanctuary where conservationists are working to increase their population.


“Western Global Airlines has been entrusted with this very challenging rescue flight because of our unparalleled responsiveness and dependability,” said James (Jim) Neff, President and CEO of Western Global Airlines. “Since our inception it has been a top priority of the company to operate humanitarian relief and animal rescue flights in addition to the commercial charter and wet lease flights we operate in the general cargo sector.  In this particular case, it is an honor for us to have participated in the conservation effort of a rare and vulnerable species whose existence is being threatened.”


As part of this commitment, Western Global Airlines operated the “Spirit of Freedom Flight”, the world’s largest lion rescue airlift in history, where Western Global flew 33 abused and suffering lions from South America to a sanctuary in South Africa after being rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI). This dramatic rescue was recently broadcast on CBS 60 Minutes, and the heroic work of ADI has helped lead to laws banning the use of wild animals in circuses in more than 15 U.S. states and more than 20 countries.

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“We have become keenly aware of the abuse that animals are suffering around the world as a result of poaching, loss of habitat, illegal sales, and circuses” Jim Neff added  “We will always be available to support these incredibly important rescue missions. Anyone who shares our core beliefs about animal husbandry can help by visiting www.rhinos.org  and www.ad-international.org to sign a petition, attend an event or make a donation to help save these animals and protect future populations.”


This article appeared in: Air Cargo News and Air Cargo Week