Cocker Spaniel Roko and Keeshond Lola, along with their four feline companions and a cockatoo called Pepe, recently completed an epic journey from Mission Bay in New Zealand to Baska Voda in Croatia. This was quite an undertaking, especially as Roko is 12 and two of the cats are 15 and 16 years old!

This intrepid band set off from Auckland on Monday morning New Zealand time, flying with Thai Air via Bangkok into London Heathrow, where they had a 24-hour stopover at the airport’s quarantine kennels.

Animalcouriers arranged their UK transit documents and their onward flight to Zagreb with Croation Airlines. By Thursday afternoon, they had reached Zagreb, ready to complete the final leg of their journey by road to the Adriatic coast.

Their owner, Valentine, and Shelley at Air Care Pets in Auckland had done a brilliant job getting all the paperwork in perfect order. There were extra complexities for Pepe, a Galah Cockatoo (Elophus Roseicapilla) as these birds are protected by CITES legislation on the international trade in endangered species. That meant CITES certificates from both New Zealand and Croatia had to be in place before Pepe could start his journey. When CITES birds travel as pets, they also have to be accompanied by their owner or their owner’s representative. So Valentina’s son was on all the same flights as Pepe and the rest of the crew.

Valentina tells us she was so excited about the arrival of her pets she didn’t sleep all night!

A rather damp welcome to Croatia for Roko and Lola

A rather damp welcome to Croatia for Roko and Lola

Lola giving her travel crate a quick inspection

Lola giving her travel crate a quick inspection

Loading up for the final leg of the journey

Loading up for the final leg of the journey

Roko looks impatient to get going!

Roko looks impatient to get going!