FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s leading express transportation company, has announced the safe arrival of two three-year-old giant pandas, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport in France.
Working in conjunction with ZooParc de Beauval, the specially-chartered Boeing 777F flight known as the “FedEx Panda Express” landed in Paris on Jan. 15 at noon local time, 6 a.m. Eastern time. The arrival of these special animals marks the first time in 10 years that giant pandas will reside in France.
The non-stop flight was chartered especially for the VIPs—Very Important Pandas—and the pair travelled in custom-built enclosures provided by FedEx Express. In-flight, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi spent the journey snoozing and eating bamboo.
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They were accompanied by a Chinese veterinarian and animal handler as well as the managing director from ZooParc de Beauval to look after their needs throughout the journey.
During the flight, the pandas were in the safe hands of seasoned pilots Captain Paul Cassel, Captain Tom Jenkins and Captain John Hunt, who all have extensive experience in transporting some of the world’s most precious cargo, ranging from white rhinos to penguins.
The pandas continued their journey in FedEx Express vehicles to deliver them to their new home at ZooParc de Beauval.
French authorities were also on hand to ensure a smooth ride. Upon arrival, the pandas will reside together in the new Chinese area in a specially built giant panda enclosure at ZooParc de Beauval.