Five black rhinos on a flight to Zambia

THE cargo facility workers at the new King Shaka International Airport had their hands full on Wednesday after intense hours of loading five black rhinos into a plane en route to Zambia.

The four females and a male were brought from the Umfolozi Game Lodge and IThala Game Reserve.

The bulky animals were first sedated due to their sensitive nature before being flown by the SAFAIR Hercules C-130 flight to the Zambian North Luangwa National Park.

The cargo terminal at the Dube Trade Port has become the first in Africa to have just one handler for international cargo, Worldwide Flight Services and its large scale environment is animal friendly.

The re-introduction of the black rhino in Zambia was the effort of the Trade Port and the Worldwide Flight Services after the Zambian rhino became extinct due to poaching.

General Manager of the Worldwide Flight Services Nico Le Roux said the cargo handler had transported small animals such as birds before but insisted it was the first time they had to move animals weighing over a ton.

"The rhinos, which can weigh up to two tons each, are the biggest animals to date to be transported out of the new King Shaka's International cargo facility."

Le Roux said external cranes had to be used to reduce the hard labour for the cargo handlers.

To keep up with the vigorous campaign for environmental conservation, Dube Trade Port and Worldwide Flight Services are planning to build an extravagant Border Inspection Post for live animals at cargo terminals.

The Dube Port boasts some of the fine state of the art facilities such as the IT platform created for world class information communication technology and trade, and the Agrizone which will be about 80 hectares of net developed land that will include the cultivating of high value agricultural production and exports.