How ‘Operation Noah’s Ark’ Saved This African Park | Flashback

University of Pretoria wildlife researcher Wouter van Hoven found himself in a tricky situation in 2001 amid the Angola wilderness. A Russian Ilyushin II-76 plane had just landed with precious cargo: two giant crates holding giraffes that had been airlifted from South Africa.

The problem? The flatbed trucks van Hoven had requested for the crates to be directly lowered onto had not yet arrived. When they finally did arrive an hour later, van Hoven then had to figure out how to lift the crates onto them. The workers ignored his request for a forklift, choosing instead to hoist the crates with hooks — even though van Hoven warned them the crates would fall apart. Sure enough, the lids ripped off during the loading. Luckily, no animals were hurt by this. But “you…

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