Watch: Bear cub on flight to Dubai escapes from crate; sedated upon landing at airport

Iraqi Airways has issued an apology for the delays that the incident had caused


Kirstin Bernabe

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Screengrab: X (Twitter)
Screengrab: X (Twitter)

Published: Sat 5 Aug 2023, 5:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 6 Aug 2023, 3:53 PM

A bear cub that was being flown to Dubai from Baghdad had escaped its crate, causing flight delays. A team of specialists had to step in to sedate the animal upon landing at the emirate's airport, the airline involved in the incident confirmed in a statement.

Iraqi Airways acknowledged on Friday that an animal on its flight managed to break out of its cage. It clarified, however, that it was being transported legally and according to international regulations.

The statement comes after a couple of videos went viral on X (Twitter). In the first one, passengers are seen stuck on the plane because of the incident, while the other clip shows the bear pacing inside the cargo hold, poking its head through the door:

"When the plane arrived at the Dubai airport, it was found that the animal had escaped the crate designated for its transportation," Iraqi Airways explained in the statement.

The cabin crew then notified the UAE authorities, which immediately sent a specialised team to sedate the animal and transport it out of the plane, it added.

The airline said it had ensured the incident did not affect the safety of passengers.

"The return flight resumed after making sure that there weren't any damage," it added.

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