How did the tigers cross the sea?
It may sound like the opening line of a fable or riddle, but it’s actually a very real logistics challenge that Toll was recently proud to take on.
When Sumatran tiger siblings Cinta and Jalur needed to be transported from Symbio Wildlife Park south of Sydney, their home for the past eight years, to their new home at Tasmania Zoo in Launceston, Toll was enlisted to facilitate the move.
Of course, transporting tigers is a little different from your typical cargo, but with Toll’s wealth of experience moving penguins, giraffes and just about everything in between, we know the extreme care and consideration required to ensure the safety and comfort of animals at all stages of transportation.
After travelling from Sydney via road, 10-year-olds Cinta and Jalur arrived at Melbourne’s waterfront on Wednesday 13 June where they were met by Toll staff including Chief Mate Bob Bailey, ready to board Toll’s cargo ship for the 13-hour journey across Bass Strait to Tasmania.
Bob’s an old hand when it comes to live animal moves at Toll, and was even involved in bringing four African lions to Tasmania Zoo two years ago. He says this move was textbook in nature except for one difference — the tigers would not be sedated, therefore requiring extra care to keep them calm throughout the journey.
“The biggest thing we had to worry about was the weather. We watched the forecast three days in advance,” says Bob. “The conditions were actually quite rough on the day of the move, but because of the direction we were travelling we would be going with the weather, so we knew the tigers would be comfortable.”
Manager of Tasmania Zoo Rochelle Penney also accompanied the tigers on their trip across the strait and says the process was seamless.
“Everything went really well. The Toll staff were absolutely amazing and looked after us the entire way,” says Rochelle. “We had a very late check-in and were allowed to board last, which was great as we didn’t want to be sitting around at the wharf with so much noise — the tigers aren’t used to that much noise. And then we were first off in the morning.”
During the crossing, Rochelle, a vet and two handlers from the zoo were able to visit the tigers throughout the night to make sure they were warm, comfortable and at ease.
“I popped down in the morning and actually took a photo through a hole in the crate — Jalur was asleep on his back with his legs up in the air, so he was definitely very comfy!”
Cinta and Jalur have since been settling in well at the zoo, says Rochelle, who adds that the siblings aren’t yet on display to visitors as the zoo gives them time to adjust to their new home.
Rochelle says the safe arrival of the tigers at Tasmania Zoo is a massive achievement, though bittersweet, she adds. It was zoo founder Dick Warren’s years-long dream to bring tigers to the zoo but he sadly passed away in late May, just weeks before seeing that dream realised.
“Dick was involved with bringing the lions here to the zoo about two years ago and used Toll then, so that’s why I went with Toll this time, because he spoke so highly of the service,” says Rochelle. “I will use Toll again because I don’t imagine you’d get that service from anyone else.”
Photo courtesy of Symbio Wildlife Park
Toll Shipping Tasmania
108 Webb Dock Drive
Port Melbourne VIC 3207