Simon the 3-foot rabbit dies on United Airlines flight to Chicago | News | DW | 26.04.2017
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Simon the 3-foot rabbit dies on United Airlines flight to Chicago

A giant rabbit expected to grow to be the world's largest has died on a United Airlines flight from London to Chicago. A celebrity had apparently bought the rabbit from an ex-Playboy rabbit breeder.

A meter-long (3 feet) giant rabbit named Simon has died on a United Airlines Flight from London to Chicago.

Annette Edwards, former Playboy model and breeder, said the 10-month-old Continental rabbit was healthy before the flight. She claims Simon died in the plane's cargo hold. 

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

Simon was being shipped from the UK to a celebrity buyer in Chicago, one of many sales the breeder does each year.

"I've sent rabbits all around the world and nothing like this has happened before," Edwards was quoted as saying. "The client who bought Simon is very famous. He's upset."

Rabbit breeder and Page 3 model

Edwards, 60, holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest Page 3 Glamour model in the "Sun." As a breeder, she also holds the record for breeding the world's largest rabbit, the 1.3 meter (4-feet) Darius. 

Simon was Darius' offspring and expected to challenge his father's standing once fully grown. 

United Airlines said it was "saddened" by the news and would review what happened.

"The safety and wellbeing of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team," a United spokesperson said.

Simon's unexpected death occurred after United Airlines came under heated criticism earlier this month when a passenger was violently pulled off one of its flights to make room for crew members.

cw/jm (AP, Reuters)

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