DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has moved two giant pandas from Chengdu, China, to Ahtari, Finland, via climate neutral transportation - the carbon emissions for the flight are offset through a climate protection project. The male, Hua Bao, or Pyry by its new Finnish name, aged four, and the female, Jin Baobao, or Lumi, aged three, arrived at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland on January 18 by a chartered flight.
The journey of the pandas from the Dujiangya giant panda centre took them first to the Chengdu airport on January 17, from where they were flown 6,500 kilometres directly to Helsinki on an Iljushin 76 freighter aircraft chartered for the purpose. They were accompanied by two animal handlers and two veterinary physicians and had a supply of 120 kilograms of bamboo on board. After the official welcoming ceremony at the airport with distinguished representatives of Finland and China, a DHL truck took them to Ahtari, some 300 km away in central Finland, where a local "panda carnival" had been arranged to welcome the long-awaited new inhabitants of the zoo.
"We're proud to be part of the 'pandastic' journey of Hua Bao and Jin Baobao as they make their way to Helsinki and into the hearts of millions of Finnish people. Extensive planning and organisation goes into executing a move like this flawlessly, ensuring the wellbeing of our precious cargo along the way," said Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Greater China. "Offsetting the carbon emissions from the flight of the pandas also highlights the possibilities of carbon neutral shipping options as more companies and organisations choose to GoGreen in their daily operations."
With GoGreen Climate Neutral service, DHL purchases carbon credits from selected projects that meet high standards, reducing emissions and benefiting local communities. The emissions for the panda flight are calculated to be 230 tons of CO2e, which will be particularly offset through a climate protection project which reduces emissions by enabling low-income families in the rural Chinese province of Sichuan to switch from coal to household biogas digesters. Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to reduce all its logistics-related emissions to net zero by 2050, and offering green solutions is an important part thereof.
Finland and China signed a 15-year agreement on joint research on giant pandas last year. The removal of Lumi and Pyry to Ahtari Zoo is part of the agreement.
The Finnish climate with its snowy winter is similar to that in the giant pandas' natural habitat in the mountains in China. This was one of the key reasons why Chinese panda experts chose to relocate the panda couple to Finland and Ahtari.
Ahtari offers the pandas an environment typical for the species and hopefully this will lead to natural breeding.
The newly constructed Snowpanda house at Ahtari Zoo - including the giant pandas' indoor living rooms and an outdoor playing park - occupy some 10,000 square meters and is one of the largest in the world. Top experts from the panda centre inspected the facilities in November and said it was the best outside of China.