LONDON — United Airlines is facing a fresh PR disaster after a humongous rabbit passed away while traveling with the airline from England to the U.S.
The 10-month-old, 3-foot-long, Continental Giant Rabbit called Simon was expected to grow up to become the biggest bunny in the world.
In an interview with the Sun, owner Annette Edwards said she is demanding compensation from United and the return of the rabbit’s corpse to the UK for an autopsy. United insists Simon was alive and hopping when he was taken off the flight in Chicago on April 19.
A United Airlines spokesman said the giant rabbit appeared healthy and showed no signs of distress upon landing. Simon was asleep in a pet facility run by the airline, but 30 minutes later an employee opened his cage and found the rabbit dead.
The spokesman said the airline has offered to perform a necropsy on the rabbit free of charge, but Edwards declined. Rabbit breeder Edwards said Simon was expected to grow to be the world’s biggest bunny after his father Darius grew to a length of 4 feet 4 inches.
Edwards told the Associated Press that Simon had a veterinary checkup just three hours before takeoff from London’s Heathrow Airport and was as “fit as a fiddle.”
United said it has offered compensation to Simon’s buyer in the U.S. The airline said it was saddened to hear of the giant bunny’s death and was investigating the incident.