The popularity of movies like "Snakes on a Plane" and the "Sharknado" series attests to Americans' fascination with the idea of airborne shipments of scaly carnivores with seriously bad attitudes. But the logistics professionals at American Airlines Cargo didn't let the horror stories deter them when asked to ship two tanks of sharks from the U.S. to South America.
Working with its partner, the Miami-based freight forwarder Four Star Cargo, American loaded two sand tiger sharks and three bonnethead sharks onto a pair of Boeing 777-200s, the airline said. The sand tiger sharks flew out of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, while the bonnetheads departed from Miami International. All five critters were reunited in Rio de Janeiro to begin their new life together in an aquarium in Nova Iguazu, Brazil, according to American Airlines.
Marine animals are unaccustomed to flying coach, so the three- to four-foot bonnetheads and six- to 10-foot sand tigers were housed in two 5,000-pound shipping tanks that held sufficient space and oxygenated water to last the flight. American did not indicate whether the sharks chose pretzels or peanuts for the in-flight snack service.