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Monday 28 November 2022

At 1500kg Pantaleon is not your average airline passenger

Meet Pantaleón, who is not your average airline passenger.

The four-year-old 1500kg rhino was recently flown from Buiz Zoo, south of Santiago in Chile, to his new home in the city of Pereira, Colombia by LATAM Airlines.

The transport of the endangered animal was part of a collaboration between Modern Zoos for the Conservation of Endangered Species, LATAM Cargo, Bilbao Air Cargo and Buin Zoo.

Months of planning and training went into executing this operation so that the rhino travelled safely on its journey of over 6000km.

Pantaleón is the first white rhinoceros born in Chile and was transferred from Buin Zoo to the Ukumarí Biopark in Colombia to join two females for reproduction and conservation of the species.

“Being part of the birth of Pantaleón and then witnessing him grow is something unique and wonderful, so there is no doubt that his departure is very hard too, but the most important thing is that we are making a real contribution to the conservation of a species that is disappearing," says Ignacio Idalsoaga, director of Buin Zoo.

“LATAM Cargo is proud to participate in this operation that contributes to the preservation of such a unique and wonderful species," says Juan Pablo Marquez, manager of cargo operations for LATAM.

"It takes months of preparation to understand the type of animal, its behaviour and select an expert team to accompany the rhino throughout the shipping. Everything must be very well calculated and coordinated between the different participants so that the animal is transported safely.” 

Pantaleon is a name meaning "lion of all".

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