Giant rabbit Simon, tipped to become the 'world's largest' dies onboard United Airlines flight

Simon died at a United Airlines pet holding facility in Chicago following a flight from London, in another embarrassment for the airline as it struggles with a global backlash this month over a passenger dragged from his seat.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Jul 19, 2017, 12:28 PM IST

New Delhi: A 3-foot-long giant rabbit named Simon, who was tipped to bear the tag of the 'world's largest rabbit' has passed away.

Simon died at a United Airlines pet holding facility in Chicago following a flight from London, in another embarrassment for the airline as it struggles with a global backlash this month over a passenger dragged from his seat.

The 10-month-old Continental Giant breed rabbit named Simon, who was tipped to become one of the world`s largest rabbits, had appeared to be in good condition upon arrival at the facility at Chicago`s O`Hare airport, an airline spokesman said.

Simon was due to be picked up by a celebrity who had bought him. But when a United worker later checked on Simon, he found he had died, spokesman Charles Hobart said.

"We never want that to happen and it`s always a sad experience for all involved when an animal passes while in our care," Hobart said by telephone on Wednesday.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, the spokesman said, adding that United was reviewing what happened.

Hobart said the airline had offered to carry out a post-mortem investigation on the rabbit, but the owner had declined. He said United also offered compensation to the owner, whom he did not identify, but did not disclose the amount.

The incident took place on April 20, but was first reported on Wednesday by The Sun newspaper. Simon`s breeder, Annette Edwards, told the paper she was suspicious.

(With Reuters inputs)