Peter the Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanii) has escaped the English autumn to join his owners in Texas. No-one knows how old Peter is, but he’s been with the same family for over 50 years!
There was a bit of a rush on to organise Peter’s flight as he had to travel before he started getting ready to hibernate for the winter. However, Hermann’s tortoises are an endangered species protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. So he couldn’t travel until his CITES export certificate was issued.
Peter stayed with family friends in the UK while the export paperwork was prepared. They were getting increasingly anxious as the days shortened, the weather cooled, and Peter began to lose his appetite.
Fortunately the paperwork was completed before Peter had curled up for the winter, and he was checked in to fly with BA from Heathrow to Houston. Special clearance from UK customs is required for animals travelling with CITES certificates, but the process was rather drawn out. Eventually at the 11th hour Peter got the OK. Time was extremely tight, but BA saved the day by arranging a special car to deliver Peter to the aircraft.
Peter’s family wrote to say:
“Thanks to you all for getting Peter here. He settled into his new home yesterday evening, ate some lettuce and tomato and burrowed into his hay when it got dark.”
Animalcouriers’ trip north through Spain and towards the UK is fast filling up. Today courier I collected Perry the love bird in Fuengirola. Perry has been staying with courier A whose kids have really adored having her in the house.
From there it was a short drive east along the coast road to Sotogrande (where the Ryder Cup is held, as all you golf fans will know). Here, courier I collected little Havanese dogs Jasper and Charlie and their ‘surrogate mum’ Muppet, a miniature Border Collie.
His next stop was Calahonda for Marg the cat, who’s still keeping her head down while she gets used to travelling. Then it was off to Torre del Mar to pick up Lola.
Lola is a tiny Yorkie pup who was found abandoned in a car park that is — fortunately — close to a veterinary clinic. Lola was brought in just as Jacqui was in the clinic with a stray cat due to be neutered to help keep the local population down. Jacqui couldn’t resist Lola, who is now on her way to live with Jacqui’s mum in the UK!
Perry says Hola!
Not a bad sun spot to hail a ride on the Animalcouriers van
Jasper and Charlie jostle for position
‘Calm down boys!’ says Muppet
“Can I ‘cuddle’ the bird?” says Cattage
Rascal says ‘I love bird’ – we think he got the wrong end of the story…
Anneline is delighted to have been reunited with her African Grey parrots Gina and Milo at last, who travelled from Johannesburg to London last month.
It is quite a paperwork marathon to get everything sorted out for birds travelling to the UK from outside the EU — particularly if, like African Greys, they are one of the species on the CITES list.
There was a false start back in September when some of the paperwork didn’t arrive in time for Anneline to accompany the birds on their flight. One of the strict import requirements is that the owner or their representative must be on the same flight as the birds when the travel into the UK. Fortunately, Animal Travel in Johannesburg stepped in to care for Gina and Milo until everything was in order.
Along with her thanks to everyone involved in getting Gina and Milo to the UK, Anneline sent some photos to show how well they’ve settled in.
Klaus the tortoise will be travelling with Animalcouriers from London to Bern later this month.
We’ll be making special arrangements for Klaus to avoid disrupting his normal routine while he travels. He’ll have a special travel vivarium which, at this time of year, won’t need much heating. However, we’ll have to make sure he doesn’t get colder at night, so will be taking him into our hotel with us when we stop.
That may sound like a lot of bother for a tortoise, however well loved — but Klaus isn’t just your common-or-garden tortoise, He’s from a breed called Testudo Graeca which is endangered in the wild. So he’ll need his CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) registration that confirms he was captive bred and not captured in the wild. He will also need special paperwork for the export process from the UK to Switzerland.
His owner Jenny is very well up on all these requirements, and by the time Klaus is ready to travel (along with his feline companion), all the paperwork will be in place.