These cases contain forms of restraint – chains and rope.
In January 1515 the Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, set sail for Lisbon from Goa, laden with a cargo of spices and a single rhinoceros in the hull. This two-ton pachyderm serving as both cargo and ballast sailed for 120 days chained below deck, surviving on rice and rocking and shifting its weight with every lilt and turn of the ship.
In December 2019 an exhibition housed within a rhino-sized pine packing crate, of two symmetrical sections of 1.6m x 1.9m each, set sail from Cape Town on the MSC Pegasus bound for Lisbon.
Transportation of rhinos:
“Crating is the recommended transport method. Crates are usually constructed of wood, metal, or wood with steel reinforcements. The interior must be smooth with no projections. The floor must be at least 2.5 cm thick and be a non-slip surface.
Black rhino: 271 cm x 191 cm
White rhino: 475 cm x 221 cm
Greater one-horned rhino: 335 cm x 201 cm
In view of the diversity in size, strength and temperament of rhinos, the size and strength of the container must be sufficient to restrict the movement of and restrain the animal. Dimensions must be large enough to prevent cramping without allowing unnecessary movement.
Air transport, rather than ship transport, is the preferred option for any transoceanic translocation. Transport by ship is undesirable because of the excessive time at sea, variable conditions and more intensive personnel requirements.”
From the Rhino Husbandry Manual. Metrione, L. and Eyres, A. (Eds.) 2014. Fort Worth, TX: International Rhino Foundation.
Recent research by Dr Robin Radcliffe, of Cornell University, suggests that transporting rhino by airlifting is faster and safer than over land. Contrary to expectation, hanging the rhinos upside down is slightly better for their breathing and also reduces the anaesthesia time necessary during transportation. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/17/world/rhino-airlift-upside-down-hnk-spc-intl/index.html