Bart the Mammoth

Bart the Mammoth transported to Fehmarn, Germany without a scratch

The skeleton of a Dutch mammoth, which was assembled with bones from several different mammoths by collector Bart Schenning from Gaanderen, was recently auctioned off by online auction house Catawiki and transported to the buyer. A museum on the German island of Fehmarn paid an exceptional sum for the skeleton. The mammoth is known as Bart the Mammoth, named after its owner. Based on the Meilink Chain Solutions Design and Packaging, Meilink produced the special containers which transported Bart the Mammoth to Fehmarn without a scratch.

Bart Schenning: “All of Bart the Mammoth’s bones came from our own North Sea. In the Ice Age, the North Sea was one big steppe where many mammoths lived, and it is now known as the world’s largest mammoth cemetery.” Dutch fishermen often find bones and tusks of mammoths on the North Sea. The skeleton was assembled by Dutch collector Bart Schenning, who spent 10 years building the skeleton in his garage. According to Catawiki, the German museum had been looking for a mammoth skeleton for some time. Schenning: “It took quite a lot of work to take apart the skeleton here, move it and put it back together in Fehmarn.”

Containers packed: “In the end, we packed the containers ourselves. Then a freight transporter drove the containers in a lorry for 7 hours over the German autobahn to Fehmarn, with shocks and all. In those circumstances, you need containers that are sure to keep the fragile bones inside intact. We were shipping a very precious load and it was a success." 

Bart the Mammoth reassembled safe and sound in Fehmarn
In the end, Bart the Mammoth arrived safe and sound in Fehmarn and the sternum was hoisted out of the largest container. Schenning: “Then we put Bart the Mammoth back together and within two days, Bart the Mammoth was completely reassembled at his new home in Germany. I must say it wasn’t easy saying goodbye to Bart the Mammoth and I got a bit emotional, but he’s found a great new home. I’ll store the containers until I have another use for them.

Here, again, Meilink says: Any challenge, any time
Walter Markink, Industrial Packaging Account Manager at Meilink: “Normally speaking, we use our Meilink Chain Solutions for industrial capital goods. So Bart the Mammoth was a special exception for us. With that, we have stayed true to our promise of Any challenge, any time.”

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Meilink Chain Solutions in practice

I contacted Meilink through the Van Dam transport company. Meilink helped us move everything. Because the bones of a mammoth may be big; they are also very fragile and there are quite a lot of them! Bart the Mammoth’s skeleton consisted of 270 bones, is 3.5m tall and over 5.5m long. The enormous tusks are 3m long. So it was important to deliver the museum’s precious purchase intact. Meilink designed nine containers for us based on the Meilink Chain Solution Design. Why nine? It was over those containers that we were able to precisely fit all the pieces of the skeleton in the best way possible. A friend of mine came up with a spring system using old shock absorbers from motorised scooters and applied that in the Meilink containers specifically for the very fragile sternum. That was perfect for a targeted shock absorption during transport. 

These special Meilink containers were produced to pack the tusks, the skull and the torso as well as for the four legs and tail with the hip. An important factor - which Meilink did perfectly - was that the container designs had to have the right dimensions and meet the quality standards. The largest container was a whopping 2.5 metres long, enabling us to pack all the skeletal parts into a container that fit perfectly. Doing that provided maximum protection against shocks during transport - since these skeletal parts are very, very fragile. The material for the containers was sturdy enough to absorb any shocks and negative external influences as well.