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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
THE FIRST ONE CAME OVER ON THE HINDENBURG
Giant rabbit dies on United flight
A giant rabbit, on track to become the world's largest. was found dead in the cargo hold of a United Airlines flight, creating another UA public relations challenge.
UPI reports ten-month-old Simon, a 3-foot long Prussian Giant Grey rabbit expected to break a size record currently held by his four foot four inch father, arrived dead in the cargo hold of a United Airlines’ Boeing 767 when it arrived in Chicago from London.
Though airlines generally outfit planes' cargo holds to be comfortable,i t's not always consistent, says Sandy Parshall, of the House Rabbit Society, a California-based nonprofit that promotes rabbit rescue and welfare.
"The entire aircraft is pressurized, and not all pieces of the aircraft are heated," says Parshall, who is also a commercial pilot. "It generally gets pretty cold."
Anne Martin, the rabbit society's executive director, added that other stressors, such as noises or stimuli, could also be involved:
"Rabbits are prey animals. If there are barking dogs, that might be enough to stress them to the point of heart attack,"
says Martin.It was not clear when or how his death occurred, but breeder Annette Edwards said a veterinarian found the Leviathan lagomorph In good health prior to his flight.
“I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before. The client who bought Simon is very famous. He’s upset.”
U.S. airlines reported the deaths of 35 animals aboard plane flights in 2015, the most recent available data, U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show. Fourteen of those were on United flights; the airline carried 97,156 animals that year.
At 2.37 deaths per 10,000 transported animals, United has the highest casualty figures of any U.S. airline.
THE UBERBUNNY MIGHT HAVE FARED WORSE ON NORTH KOREAN AIR.
A human United passenger recently lost two teeth and sustained a concussion when forcibly removed from an overbooked UA flight, and in March, the lagomorph-unfriendly airline barred two Minnesotans for wearing fur leggings, a violation of its passenger dress code.