A big bunny died during a transatlantic flight, and of course it was United Airlines

The breeder says the rabbit had seen a vet before boarding the plane and was "fit as a fiddle" before the flight

By Matthew Rozsa
April 26, 2017 6:59PM (UTC)
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United Airlines (Getty/David McNew)

In the same month that United Airlines saw its stock values plummet after a passenger was videotaped being physically dragged off one of its flights, the beleaguered airline is under fire again. The reason, this time, is that a giant rabbit mysteriously died during one of its transatlantic flights.

The 3-foot-long Flemish giant was found dead when the plane arrived in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after departing from London, according to a report by the Associated Press. The breeder, Annette Edwards, told the AP that the rabbit was named Simon, had only been alive for 10 months, and had just been purchased by a celebrity.


"Simon had his vet check just before getting on the plane. He was fit as a fiddle," Edwards said.

Simon was expected to become the world's biggest rabbit just like its father, according to a report by Time Magazine. Darius the rabbit, Simon's father, is 51 inches long. Although only 26 animals died out of the more than 500,000 that were flown in 2016, nine of those animals were from United Airlines. This didn't amount to the highest death rate among all the airlines, but it managed to accumulate twice as many total animal-related incidents (which includes injuries) as the other 17 airlines covered in the report by the Department of Transportation.

United Airlines is reported as having told the BBC that it is "saddened" by Simon's death on their flight.


Earlier this month, United Airlines became a punchline and source of outrage after footage was released of one of its passengers being physically injured as he was forcibly removed from one of their flights. United Airlines had overbooked the flight and decided that four passengers needed to be removed so that members of its crew could have seats.


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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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