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ISTANBUL: August 16, 2018. Turkish Cargo has transported five endangered white rhinos from Johannesburg to Shanghai via its hub in Istanbul.

Each of the five white rhinos weighed one tonne, and will now grow under supervision until they reach the age of three. While the species  was once most common, they are now endangered due to illegal hunting for their horns.

turkish rhinosTurkish Cargo says it only carries live animals between qualified zoos, private institutions or acknowledged preservation and rehabilitation centers in order to prevent animal trafficking. 

The airline says this latest delivery is aimed at educating the Chinese to stop poaching white rhino for their horns.

In June Turkish Cargo relocated 10 lions, seven of which were cubs, from Johannesburg to Pakistan; delivered 10 giraffes to Bangladesh; carried four elephants to the UAE and three monkeys from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Ukraine.

This was followed by the delivery of three 16 months-old giraffes from Johannesburg to Tehran – accompanied by their keepers, veterinarians and Turkish Cargo personnel certified under IATA’s Live Animals Regulations.

Last year the airline's chairman announced it had joined 40 companies and NGOs in signing the 'United for Wildlife' Buckingham Palace Declaration pledging zero-tolerance of illegal wildlife trafficking.

The group has committed to receive and exchange credible information about high-risk routes and methods of transportation; to develop a secure system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant Customs and law enforcement; and to notify relevant authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife and their products and, where able, refuse to accept or ship such cargoes.