“Oh Lu, look! Aren’t they cute!”, squeals Cosmo, overjoyed, and hands Lu the magazine. “Oh yes, the new panda couple at Berlin Zoo – Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, I think they’re called.” In English, those names mean “Small dreams and tiny treasure.” The two only arrived this summer.
“Arrived, how? Did they travel there by themselves?” asks Cosmo, confused.
“No, of course not!” laughs Lu.
“China lent Berlin Zoo the two rare pandas, and because they couldn’t travel to Germany by themselves, Lufthansa was entrusted with transporting them.” “How? Can Lufthansa do that kind of thing as well?” asks Cosmo. “Of course!”, responds Lu. “Come on, let’s take a look for ourselves!”
So they do – the two cranes immediately head to Frankfurt’s so-called “Animal Lounge.” It is the biggest and most modern airport animal station in the world!
When they arrive at Lufthansa Cargo at the airport, the two find their jaws dropping because they’re in a hall that is as large as a soccer field.
It contains a huge number of stalls, boxes, its own quarantine facility, and even climate chambers! These chambers ensure that a polar bear doesn’t start sweating or an exotic parrot doesn’t overheat.
“And this is where all the cats and dogs wait to start their journey, their onward flight, or to be picked up?” asks Cosmo.
“Not exactly!” laughs Lu. “There are, of course, lots of cats and dogs here, too, but the Lufthansa Cargo passenger lists also include rhinos, lions, bears, exotic ornamental fish from South America and Asia, as well as expensive show jumping horses and racehorses,” says Lu, stroking the head of his new friend.
“While in the past year ‘only’ 57.5 million human passengers used Frankfurt Airport, there were more than 110 million animal passengers. In order to care for each animal in a species-appropriate and satisfactory way, lots of staff are, of course, needed: 25 animal keepers and freight handlers, 30 freight coordinators and 25 vets!”
“And this is where the two cute pandas were, too?” asks Cosmo, his beak still open in astonishment.
“Normally they would have come here and then traveled on to Berlin,” answers Lu. “But the flight was routed from Beijing to Berlin especially. This is because the top priority of Lufthansa Cargo is always the well-being of the animals! Their transportation should be as quick and as pleasant as possible.”