While still dealing with legal action and negative public relations after a man was forcibly dragged from a flight, United Airlines is now investigating an incident in which a giant rabbit was found dead aboard one of the airline’s international flights.
According to the BBC, a nearly 3-foot-long giant rabbit named Simon was traveling from London’s Heathrow airport to Chicago’s O'Hare airport in the cargo space of a United plane on April 19.
The rabbit was being shipped to a new owner in the U.S.
Simon’s breeder, Annette Edwards, from Worcestershire, England, said the rabbit had been seen by a veterinarian hours before the flight.
“Simon had a vet’s checkup three hours before the flight and was fit as a fiddle,” Edwards told The Sun. “I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before.”
Edwards said the unidentified American buyer is upset.
“I haven’t got a clue who’s to blame, but it’s certainly very weird when Simon was so healthy,” Edwards told CNN.
Simon, a 10-month-old Continental Giant rabbit, was poised to grow to be the world’s largest rabbit, according to NBC News. The largest rabbit on record, as noted by the Guinness World Records, is Simon’s father, a 4-foot-4-inch and 50-pound animal named Darius.
“We were saddened to hear this news. The safety and well-being of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team,” the airline said in a statement. “We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter.”
Earlier this month, United Airlines made headlines when a passenger, David Dao, was forcibly removed from a flight after refusing to give up his seat for a United employee on a fully booked flight. United CEO Oscar Munoz said no one would be fired for the incident.
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