Monday, May 8, 2017

Giant Rabbit Died While In Transit from London to New Home in Iowa // Updated: Simon's Owners Accuse Airlines of Killing Rabbit by Placing It In Freezer for Hours

(Originally written on 04/27/17): You might have heard about United Airlines' latest public blunder. United Airlines has egg on its face again after news broke that a rabbit -- a 3-foot giant rabbit named Simon flying from London to Chicago -- ended up dying while in their custody.

You might not have known that this story has an Iowa connection. Simon was purchased by an Iowan for about $530 and they paid roughly $1800 to fly the giant rabbit to America. The giant rabbit was going to settle into a luxury pen in Norwalk, IA, which is right near Des Moines in south-central Iowa.

Simon was successfully flown from London to Chicago, but then died while at a pet holding facility at the airport. United Airlines has reportedly offered compensation to the rabbit's breeder, but apparently not the new owners.

Simon was the son of the largest rabbit in the world. He came to America where his new owners planned to exhibit him at the Iowa State Fair later this summer.

Updated on 05/08/17: This is messed up. It's now being alleged that United Airlines staff placed Simon in a freezer for hours and then cremated the rabbit without permission:
A 3-foot giant rabbit that died last month following a United Airlines flight from London may have mistakenly been placed in a freezer by airline employees, a Des Moines attorney announced Monday. 
Simon, a Continental Giant rabbit, was purchased by an Iowa-based ownership group with hopes that he could win the Iowa State Fair's biggest rabbit contest in August and be used to help raise money for the fair and its Blue Ribbon Foundation. But the giant rabbit was found dead following a United flight from London to Chicago. 
Des Moines trial attorney Guy Cook announced at a press conference on Monday that the owners are demanding an independent investigation into Simon's death. At least one airline employee has reportedly said that Simon may have been inadvertently locked in a freezer for up to 16 hours after arriving in Chicago. Additionally, the rabbit was cremated by United following its death, making an autopsy to determine what exactly happened impossible, Cook said. That action by the airline was tantamount to "destroying evidence" in the case, he said. The airline cremated the remains without the permission of the ownership group, he said.
The Simon Group is demanding reimbursement for the rabbit's purchase price, as well as shipping costs and the "economic loss" from the rabbit's death.

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