Orphaned Polar Bear Cub Finds Forever Home
The Saint Louis Zoo received a much anticipated delivery from FedEx this week in the form of Kali, an 850-pound orphaned polar bear who will be the highlight of the zoo’s new McDonnell Polar Bear Point exhibit.
Orphaned as a cub, Kali was rescued from the Alaskan wilderness and spent two years at the Buffalo Zoo in New York before the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation issued a letter of agreement that brought him to St. Louis, where he’ll be residing.
FedEx has built a reputation for expertise in shipping rescued animals, having donated the transportation for endangered sea turtles, seals and panda bears in the past. The company regularly supports the movement of animals when the journey helps to propagate a species, or rescue an endangered animal.
Two FedEx operating companies, FedEx Express and FedEx Custom Critical, worked together to transport Kali via air and ground to his new home in St. Louis.
Just how does an 850-pound polar bear get shipped halfway across the country?
Kali traveled on a regular service FedEx Express 767 aircraft from Rochester, New York, to Memphis, Tennessee in a specially-designed, 1,000-pound aluminum crate. Traveling with him were one veterinarian and two attendants, who monitored his comfort throughout the flight.
Upon arrival at the Memphis World Hub, Kali was carefully unloaded from the plane, and wheeled to a waiting FedEx Custom Critical Truck.
As part of the FedEx Custom Critical White Glove service, the truck was manned by drivers specially-trained to handle sensitive shipments.
Kali’s crate was loaded into the back of the truck, where attendants were able to check his condition, give him water, and ensure he was safe and secure for the second leg of the journey. After final safety checks, the FedEx truck hit the road, with the attendants’ vehicle following closely behind.
The environmental conditions inside the truck carrying Kali were monitored through ShipmentWatch, which uses SenseAwareSM Powered by FedEx technology to track temperature and other conditions in near real-time.
The cargo box of the truck maintained a steady temperature throughout the journey in order to keep Kali comfortable, and the caravan made several stops to monitor his condition.
Upon arrival in St. Louis, Kali was met by the staff of the Saint Louis Zoo. He was carefully unloaded from the truck, and welcomed into a quarantine area.
Kali will remain in quarantine for 30 days, a requirement for all new zoo animals, until his premiere in June in the new exhibit.