Air France KLM Martinair Cargo transports koalas to Ouwehands Zoo in the Netherlands

From left to right: Moniek Polman (Ouwehands Zoo), Koen Bolster (KLM Cargo), Robin de Lange (Ouwehands Zoo), José Kok (Ouwehands Zoo) and Jennifer Roesler (San Diego Zoo).

In cooperation with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen welcomed three koalas to their custom-built, dedicated habitat called “Koalia”, marking a special occasion because apart from being the only koalas in the Netherlands, they are the first to set foot on Dutch soil.

Koalas are housed in zoos around the world within the scope of management programmes contributing to the genetic wellbeing of the population and protecting the species.

The koala is listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List, and Australia has classified the species as “endangered” following a rapid decline in their numbers in recent years.

On 4 April, an animal caretaker from Ouwehands Zoo departed for the Californian San Diego Zoo to pick up the koalas.

After several days of training with caregivers, she returned today with the three koalas who will inhabit their brand-new residence at Ouwehands Zoo.

The KLM aircraft, arriving from Los Angeles, landed this morning at 08:45 carrying these special passengers.

KLM Cargo previously transported giant pandas from China to the Netherlands destined for Ouwehands Zoo in 2017. Another unique species exclusively showcased at this zoo.

KLM is one of very few airlines with its own animal hotel at Schiphol. It is fully equipped to care for animals before, during and after the journey.

Upon arrival, the animals are unloaded from the aircraft’s cargo hold and transported to the KLM Animal Hotel, where they are cleared through customs and undergo a health check.

The final leg of the journey saw them travelling from Amsterdam to Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen.