After videos surfaced of passenger Dr. David Dao being violently removed from a United flight earlier this month, many travelers were hesitant to use the airline. Now it looks like animals might not be safe flying the "friendly skies," either.
The PR nightmare for United continued when Simon, a three-foot-long rabbit who was expected to break the Guinness world record for his size, mysteriously died while in the care of the airline. Simon was only 10-months-old.
According to NBC News, the oversized rabbit died in the cargo hold of a flight going between Heathrow airport in London and O'Hare in Chicago.
Rabbit breeder Annette Edwards told The Sun that the rabbit had a check-up at the vet three hours prior to the flight and was deemed "fit as a fiddle." Simon was being flown to O'Hare to start his new life with a unnamed celebrity owner.
"Something very strange has happened and I want to know what," Edwards told The Sun. "I’ve sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before. The client who bought Simon is very famous. He’s upset."
Simon's father Darius held the title for world's biggest rabbit at 4-feet, 4-inches long, and Simon was expected to grow even larger than his dad. Here is Darius pictured with Annette Edwards.
United made this statement following Simon's mysterious death:
We were saddened to hear this news. The safety and wellbeing 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.