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Travel: 'Something Very Strange Has Happened': Giant Rabbit Found Dead on United Airlines Flight

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Simon's breeder says he was © Getty Images Simon's breeder says he was "fit as a fiddle."

United Airlines is facing another mishap after a giant rabbit was found dead at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport - the same airport where a passenger was dragged off a flight earlier this month.

Simon, a 35-inch-long Continental Giant rabbit who is expected to follow in his father's footsteps to become the world's biggest bunny, was found in the cargo hold on a trans-Atlantic flight from London Heathrow to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, according to the BBC.

The airline told the BBC it was "saddened" by the rabbit's death and is investigating the incident.

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The 10-month-old rabbit was reportedly on the way to a new "celebrity owner," according to The Sun, which first reported the story. Simon is the son of Darius, who is currently the world's largest rabbit at 51 inches.

"Simon had a vet's check-up three hours before the flight and was fit as a fiddle," his owner, Annette Edwards, told The Sun. "Something very strange has happened and I want to know what.'

Rabbit breeder Annette Edwards, seen in an undated photo with one of her giant, continental bunnies. Edwards says a similar rabbit died unexpectedly while on a United Airlines flight. © Damien McFadden/Shutterstock Rabbit breeder Annette Edwards, seen in an undated photo with one of her giant, continental bunnies. Edwards says a similar rabbit died unexpectedly while on a United Airlines flight.

While traveling with animals is generally considered safe, this is not the first time an animal has died on an airline.

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According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a total of 26 animals died out of more than 500,000 that took flights in 2016. The agency estimated that there was an average of one death for every 10,000 animals that were transported by airplanes last year.

There were nine animal deaths reported on United flights in 2016 - and though it didn't have the highest death rate, it did have double the number of total incidents, including injuries, of the 17 airlines included in the report.

The incident comes just weeks after United drew public outrage when a viral video showed Dr. David Dao was forcibly dragged off a crowded flight to accommodate United employees, causing him to break his nose, lose two teeth and sustain a "significant concussion."

United has since changed its policy regarding rebooking passengers, and the airline's CEO Oscar Munoz has vowed that incidents like that "will never happen again."

This article was originally published on TIME.com

Flight Attendants Say Angry Passengers Are Creating a Big Safety Problem on Planes .
The fury has died down, but the rash of viral confrontations on airplanes is still very much on flight attendants’ minds. They are demoralized and anxious, afraid of becoming the villain in a cellphone video that spreads across the globe — creating a situation some say could result in safety lapses on planes.Several flight attendants who spoke to TIME said they have seen colleagues ignore unbuckled belts, incorrectly placed bags and similar violations of federal safety rules in order to avoid sparking confrontations with passengers.

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