Two massive Emirates A380 jets take to the skies this week, wearing special livery in support of United for Wildlife, a global collaboration that unites the efforts of the world’s leading wildlife charities in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
The beautiful livery, featuring some of the planet’s wildlife threatened by poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, aims to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and communicate the need for urgent action.
Emirates’ two A380s will be operating flights this week. The first one departed for London (LHR) on 2nd November and a second will operate to Mauritius (MRU) on 5th November, each wearing a different design featuring endangered wildlife. In addition to its two A380s literally “flying” the flag for the cause, Emirates will run regular feature stories about wildlife protection in its inflight magazines, and showcase podcast interviews, wildlife programming and feature films on its award-winning ice inflight entertainment system.
The airline is also collaborating with international organisations to train and better equip its ground and cargo staff to detect and deal with illegal wildlife products in transit. As the required paperwork for movement of some wildlife products is often forged, Emirates also made the decision to ban trophy shipments.
Quick facts about the threat to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade
· There are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Illegal trade in their parts and products is one of the biggest threats to wild tigers. Between 2000 and 2014, the parts of at least 1,590 tigers were seized in Asia.
· Rhino poaching in South Africa increased from 13 rhinos in 2007 to 1215 rhinos in 2014. That now equates to more than three rhinos a day. Africa-wide, 1,293 rhinos are reported to have been poached in 2014.
· Around 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers each year. Central Africa is worst hit with a poaching rate twice the continental average. Left unaddressed, poaching could cause the extinction of elephants in Central Africa.
· The pangolin is the world’s most-trafficked mammal. Over a million pangolins are estimated to have been poached in the last ten years.
· Park rangers are often ill equipped and inexperienced to tackle armed and ruthless poachers. Poaching syndicates have changed the way they operate and are now using sophisticated weaponry and equipment to increase their activities and avoid detection (helicopters, veterinary drugs, night vision equipment). 1,000 rangers are estimated to have been killed in ten years while protecting wildlife.
Emirates operates a daily scheduled flight between Dubai and Malta via Larnaca, Cyprus. For further information and flight schedules, one can visit the site: www.emirates.com/mt