Simon the rabbit, destined to be the world’s largest, died in the cargo hold of a United Airlines flight headed from London’s Heathrow Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
The BBC reports Simon was being delivered to a new “celebrity” owner, although a name was not released.
In a statement to the BBC, United Airlines said they “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.”
“We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter,” the statement read.
Simon, who was bred to be the largest rabbit in the world, “was fit as a fiddle,” his breeder, Annette Edwards told The Sun.
“I’ve sent rabbits around the world before and nothing like this happened,” Edwards said.
Simon was 10-months-old and already 3 feet long, according to The Miami Herald. A Continental Giant rabbit like him can live up to seven years. Edwards also owns the world’s largest rabbit, Darius, who was Simon’s father (see video above).
This is the latest incident United Airlines has faced after a doctor was forcefully dragged off a plane in early April that was captured on video by fellow passengers.
A United plane flying from Costa Rica to Houston, Texas, had an emergency landing after one of its engines overheated over the ocean on Monday.