Toll fly Little Penguins first class

Whether big or small, movie stars need to travel in comfort – so when six of the world’s smallest penguins needed to fly to Melbourne to be on set for a new Australian film, we made sure they arrived safely.

The Challenge

The Australian film Oddball tells the true story of Allan “Swampy” Marsh; an eccentric chicken farmer who trains his Maremma sheepdog to protect a colony of little penguins from fox attacks on a small island just off the coast of Warrnambool, Victoria.

The penguins set to star in the film needed to be transported along with their trainers from their home at Sea World on the Gold Coast to the film studio in Melbourne’s Docklands.

As with any kind of precious cargo, transporting penguins requires careful planning; they are prone to losing their balance and are sensitive to sudden changes in light and temperature in their surroundings.

Our customer – animal transport company Jetpets – needed a logistics partner with experience in the safe transfer of live animals and the capacity to accommodate the specific travel requirements of the six little movie stars.

The Solution

Using our proven capability to transport a diverse range of live animals safely and ethically, Toll arranged to fly the penguins from Brisbane to Melbourne on a Virgin Australia aircraft.

The penguins and their trainers were collected from Sea World on the Gold Coast, and lodged with Toll at its Brisbane Airport premises.

Housed in individual travel carriers for the flight, the penguins were transferred to the tarmac and secured in the plane’s holding area to prevent the carriers moving during the flight.

The holding area was temperature-controlled to ensure the penguins’ comfort, and hessian coverings were used to keep the lighting in the holding area low. This kept the penguins calm during transit, and enabled them to reorient themselves if they lost their balance during the 2.5 hour flight.

Upon landing in Melbourne, the penguins were transferred back to their handlers to make the last leg of their journey to the film studio.

The Results

By combining strategic planning with an understanding of the particular travel needs of the penguins, we were able to facilitate their safe and ethical transport from Sea World to the film set in Melbourne.

In addition to ensuring the penguins' comfort and welfare, we were able to accommodate an unusual live animal transport request and deliver for our customer in a timely manner.

Customer Testimonial

“We choose to work with Toll – particularly for complex or unusual live animal transport projects like this one – because we share a commitment to providing first-rate transport options for pets and animals.

"Toll and Jetpets staff worked closely together in both Brisbane and Melbourne to make sure that the penguins were happy, comfortable and safe at every point between boarding the plane and rejoining their trainers when they landed.”

Scott Williams
National Sales Manager, Jetpets Australia

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