The San Antonio Zoo said goodbye to some very special travelers today as four highly threatened Golden-bellied Mangabey monkeys set off on their 6,000 mile journey to Europe via DHL, the world’s leading international express services provider. The cross-border delivery of the two male and two female primates will promote breeding programs for the species at the Budapest Zoo as well as two other zoos – one in France and another in the Netherlands.

Golden-bellied Mangabeys are some of the most rarely seen on Earth, with eight of the 44 in captivity being housed at the Budapest Zoo. With the goal of increasing the future population for this mangabey species in Europe, the Hungarian zoo enlisted the help of international shipping specialist DHL to provide expedited, door-to-door delivery – and a “first class” travel experience for these endangered primates.

“DHL is committed to supporting projects that serve important social or environmental goals, and this one is a wonderful way to make a real impact on species conservation,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express U.S. “We are proud to donate our global network and provide our international logistics expertise to ensure these rare primates are delivered safely to their final destination.”

The monkeys are under the supervision of a San Antonio Zoo animal care expert who will accompany them during their entire journey – providing food, water and monitoring them as necessary. To ensure everything goes smoothly, DHL is coordinating all of the logistics and regulatory requirements – including health certificates, import and export documents and various certifications – working with the zoos and numerous governmental and regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe.

Although provided as an exception to its standard international express services, DHL has many years of experience successfully moving live animals around the world. In the past two years, the company safely transferred two four-year old giant pandas, nine silverback gorillas, two Sumatran tigers, jaguars, penguins and a panther – all in support of programs that protect endangered species and rare creatures.