DSV Denver has assisted in other animal rescues in the past, but those responsibilities were primarily on processing Customs and other governmental clearances involved in the import of animals. For this particular rescue, DSV employees in both Denver and Korea were involved in every aspect of the process, from the quote to the lions being delivered to the sanctuary.
Daily communication occurred between Karen Lee, Air Export Director in Seoul, Korea, and Israel Torres, Import Manager in Denver, from mid-April through the end of June. Such communications ensured that the Korean Children’s Zoo were in compliance with all requirements and that all proper government agencies were notified. DSV Denver handled the shipping of crates to Korea a month prior to the animal delivery while waiting for all necessary documents to be accepted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Once all governmental agencies were on board to ensure a smooth transition for the animals, the delivery process could begin.
The Denver branch coordinated the shipment with Korean Airlines on a freighter service from Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the farthest the animals could be sent by air. There was also coordination for two flight attendants to fly with the animals just in case any assistance with the lions was necessary during the flight, who were allowed by Korean Airlines to ride in jump seats behind the pilot.
Two members of The Wild Animal Sanctuary team flew to Korea to assist with the loading of the lions into their crates for the flight. For the comfort of the lions, they were given anesthesia during the loading process.
Upon arrival at LAX, Tessie Omine, a DSV Los Angeles employee, met the sanctuary team members to assist with loading the lions onto a truck, while Customs entry and coordination with FWS was handled by Vicki Warren, DSV Denver’s Licensed Customs Broker. Four hours after their arrival, the lions were off on the 18-hour journey to Colorado. Once settled at the Wild Animal Sanctuary, the animals will roam free on a 15-acre enclosure.
This lion rescue involved weeks of communication, planning, and paperwork between several DSV employees at different branch locations, airlines, government entities, and more. Thank you to everyone involved for their hard work to ensure a successful transport from start to finish.
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