While recent reports surfaced that United Airlines and Dr. David Dao have reached a settlement, the airline’s PR nightmare is far from over. Just some days ago, a “much-loved” giant rabbit allegedly dies while in one of the airline’s flights from London to Chicago.
A male Continental Giant rabbit named Simon, an offspring of the world’s longest rabbit Darius, was on his way to its new home in the United States. He comes from the countryside home of former actress Annette Edwards, who now enjoys breeding Continental Giant rabbits in Worcestershire, England.
On April 19, Simon was declared fit to travel and in “good physical condition” by a vet just 3 hours before his flight from London Heathrow International Airport in the United Kingdom to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in the US.
“In Chicago he had to board to go to another flight — and that’s when I believe they found him dead,” Edwards revealed.
She only learned about the rabbit’s death because the upset buyer called to inform her of the situation. The buyer was identified as the president of an Iowa farm and land management company, Steve Bruere.
The buyer reportedly paid $2,300 for Simon and had plans to enter him in the “biggest rabbit” contest.
United Airlines denied the accusation, however. They released a statement which read, in part:
The rabbit has passed away, but the details surrounding that are being reviewed.
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 had also offered to pay for the rabbit as well as on a necropsy to determine the animal’s exact cause of death but the buyer apparently declined.
“We won’t know the cause of death because we offered to perform a necropsy free of charge — that’s standard procedure — but the customer didn’t want us to perform a necropsy, and we understand,” Charles Hobart, the airline’s spokesman said.
What’s your take on this story?