On August 24th, 2016, Trix, a 66 million-year-old female Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil excavated in Montana, USA, in 2013, boarded a KLM flight from Chicago to Amsterdam and then took up residence at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, a museum in nearby Leiden.
Bolloré Logistics was part of this amazing journey which started in June 2016 when Mr. Laurent Chantegros of our USA Aerospace division was contacted by KLM Cargo for this unique and high-profile project.
Naturalis, the Dutch Biodiversity Center that excavated the T-Rex skeleton, had Trix prepared and crated by a specialized company at The Black Hills Institute in Hill City, South Dakota. Once securely packed, Trix then journeyed to the Air France KLM Cargo warehouse to be built up for loading on KLM’s 747 Combi to Amsterdam.
While on its way to Chicago airport, the Dutch Consulate registered Trix as a Dutch citizen and formally handed her over to the Captain of KL612 flight, who was excited to have such a celebrity on board.
As a longtime partner, KLM Cargo put its trust in Bolloré Logistics USA to manage and supervise the loading in Hill City; trucking from South Dakota to Chicago airport, handling of all documentation/permits and customs clearance at destination (handled by Bolloré Logistics Amsterdam’s teams).
Trix has more than 80% of her bone volume, placing her in the top 3 rankings of the most complete T-Rex skeletons in the world.
About 50 journalists and TV crews from around the world followed the crates from Montana to Chicago airport where our US teams (Mr. Laurent Chantegros and Ms. Emilie Foray) were on-site to supervise the move.
After a massive reception at Schiphol and the transportation to the museum in Leiden, (covered live by Dutch television), Trix is now assembled and currently on exhibit to the public at Naturalis. Being the only T-Rex permanently displayed in Europe, the museum is facing sold-out crowds since she arrived, and the enthusiasm and excitement doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Trix is scheduled to go on a world tour in 2017 where she is expected to further educate and enrich the knowledge and imaginations of the public globally.