A Giant Rabbit Mysteriously Died on a United Flight

Looks like United Airlines’ PR Director will be working double time yet again this week. After dragging a paying customer off one of their planes earlier this month, United Airlines now may have contributed to the death of a perfectly healthy rabbit. Say it ain’t so!

According to The Washington Post, Annette Edwards, who breeds Continental Giant rabbits, was traveling with her 10-month-old rabbit, Simon, on April 19. Edwards was taking Simon from Worcestershire, England to his new family in the U.S. However, she made the necessary precautions to get Simon a veterinary check-up.

Edwards told The Sun, “Simon had a vet’s check-up three hours before the flight and was fit as a fiddle.” Just three hours before the flight the rabbit was healthy and happy, yet somehow he passed away during the plane ride.

According to Fox News, it was predicted that Simon would grow to be the largest rabbit in the world. Once Edwards’ plane landed at O’Hare airport in Chicago, she discovered that Simon had passed away.

Edwards explained to The Sun, “I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before.”

Fox News mentions that United Airlines might also have impending legal actions from Edwards and Simon’s new owner. I don’t blame either party for taking legal action. A healthy animal is extremely unlikely to experience medical complications during a flight, especially when the animal had a vet check-up mere hours before takeoff.

Kevin Johnston, a United Airlines spokesperson, told The New York Times in an email that “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.”

Yet, this isn’t an isolated incident of healthy animals inexplicably dying during, or shortly after, a United Airlines flight. The Los Angeles Times reports that in 2016, United had the worst pet record of any airline, with nine pet deaths and 14 injuries during the year (they transported over 100,000 pets).

According to The Sun, United Airlines is currently "reviewing the matter." Hopefully Simon, Edwards and his new owner receive justice for his unexplained death during the flight.