FedEx Goes the Extra Mile for a Hippo Love Story

This press release from FedEx shows you just how far that company is willing to go for a hippo in need.

December 13, 2002

FedEx Express Does “Whatever It Takes” to deliver Hippo just in time for Christmas

FedEx offers its network and expertise to transport hippo from Basel Zoo, Switzerland to Dublin Zoo, Ireland

London, United Kingdom – December 13, 2002 — Federal Express Corp. (“FedEx Express”), the world’s largest express transportation company, today announced it will donate the use of its express transportation network and logistics expertise to transport a female hippo from Basel Zoo, Switzerland, to Dublin Zoo, Ireland. The hippo will become a companion to Hoovie, Dublin Zoo’s famous hippo who was orphaned when his mother, Linda, died in September this year.

FedEx Express, along with thousands of people, was touched by the story and immediately contacted Dublin Zoo to ask how they could help. Following a European appeal, a suitable female Hippo, Heidi, was identified at Basel Zoo and FedEx is delighted to be transporting Heidi on a direct flight from Basel to Dublin and to be providing Hoovie with a companion just in time for Christmas.

“It is a privilege to work with both the Swiss and Irish Zoological societies, and to assist with the relocation of Heidi,” said Des Morgan, Vice President, Northern Europe Operations. “We were touched by Dublin Zoo’s recent loss. With many little children even sending in their First Communion money to buy Hoovie a present, offering the use of our global transport network was the least FedEx could do”.

Mr. Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo added, “We were very concerned about Hoovie when Linda died and we set out immediately to find him a suitable partner, which was not an easy task. Luckily for Hoovie, we managed to locate a suitable female hippo at Basel Zoo in Switzerland and thanks to FedEx, Heidi will now join ‘Hoovie’ when she flies in on a chartered FedEx flight from Switzerland before Christmas. This is a wonderful ending to a very tragic beginning and I guess we will just have to wait and see if romance blossoms!”.

The hippo will be transported from Basel, Switzerland direct to Dublin, on Friday December 13. On arrival at Dublin airport, FedEx will use its customs clearance expertise to expedite the very special shipment through Irish customs and deliver the animal on a dedicated FedEx vehicle, straight to Dublin Zoo. Heidi will need approximately one week to settle into her new home and make friends with Hoovie before meeting any visitors.

FedEx Express has considerable experience in transporting animals including elephants, rhinos, lions and gorillas. In 1994 FedEx provided air transportation, ground support and logistical expertise to deliver a giant panda from China, to Regents Park Zoo in London. More recently the company was responsible for the safe movement of two giant pandas from China to the National Zoo in Washington, USA. In October 2002 FedEx transported six rare white tigers from Memphis to Bangkok, Thailand so that work can continue on an endangered species breeding programme.

The story can be found at These events took place six years ago. Let’s hope that Hoovie and Heidi have lived in marital bliss ever since.