China Airlines has committed to sponsor the animal interchange program initiated by Taipei Municipal Zoo and also the Toledo Zoo of Ohio State, U. S. A. The giraffe baby Ike which belongs to the first badge of the interchange program was originally scheduled to arrive Taipei in the middle part of September, 2001. Nonetheless, with the affectation of the 911 incident, it did not get to arrive Taipei from Chicago until October 19, 2001 via CI313 which was a Boeing B747-200 freighter and the flying hours was totally 16 hours and 50 minutes.
For the grown up male giraffe, the height is approximately 12 to 13 feet. For baby Ike of less than a full one year old, his height is already 9 feet. For the purpose of facilitating baby Ike to have sufficient room to move around whilst reassuring of his full safety during transportation, the zoo has specially ordered a wooden cradle of 260 inches in length, 170 inches in width and 290 inches in height for baby Ike. By including the weight of the giraffe, the total weight comes to 2,700 kgs. Our ground staff members of the Cargo Services Department at Chicago have managed to have the cradle fixed at a pallet of 20 ft. Since the nature of the giraffe is shy and is apt to be frightened, Toledo Zoo has arranged to have a life animal transportation specialist, Mrs. Anna Melino, as well as Mr. John Montgomery who has all along been looking after Ike to escort Ike during the full process of the transportation. Meanwhile, for China Airlines, we have specially arranged to place Ike at the door side of the cargo compartment enabling easy access of loading and unloading, minimizing the operation duration so as not to alarm or frighten Ike.
Up till this point, Ike is considered the largest possible size of live animal that China Airlines has ever transported before. We have been working on familiarizing with the relevant data and information concerning giraffe in advance, setting up plan of loading and unloading and then, with the full coordination of all operation staff members of various stations concerned, baby Ike has finally been transported to Taipei smoothly without any complications. Meanwhile, China Airlines has been well recognized with its technical specialty and know-how for transporting commodities of special nature during this particular incident.