Prime Minister Al-Sudani of Iraq has mandated an investigation after a bear was able to escape from the cargo hold of a plane in Dubai. The incident has caused dispute over who is to blame for the animal’s escape.
Iraqi Airways asserted that it bore no responsibility for the bear breaking free from its enclosure while the plane was in a holding position at Dubai International Airport on Friday.
The departure of the flight was postponed while experts were summoned to tranquilize the bear and safely extract it from the aircraft. The species of the bear has not been identified.
Bear’s escape from plane in Dubai prompts investigation
A video snippet making rounds on social media showed the aircraft’s captain offering apologies to passengers for the departure delay on Friday due to the bear’s attempt to escape.
A voice in the video recording can be heard mentioning that the plane was running an hour behind schedule for its journey to Baghdad, and passengers were requested to disembark until the matter could be resolved.
Dubai International Airport, renowned as the world’s busiest hub for international travel, opted not to provide a statement on the matter.
An undisclosed Iraqi Airways representative claimed under the condition of anonymity that the bear was intended for transport to the capital city of Iraq. They declined to offer the identity of the bear’s owner.
Investigation and comments
On Saturday, Iraqi Airways argued that it bore no responsibility for the animal’s breakout. The airline stated that its crew collaborated with authorities in the United Arab Emirates, who promptly dispatched experts to administer sedation to the bear and facilitate its removal from the aircraft.
The airline stated that the bear’s transportation procedures were conducted in compliance with the law and in alignment with protocols and standards endorsed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Meanwhile, Iraq’s PM, Mohammed Shayya’ Sabbar al Sudani, has ordered an investigation.
The trend of affluent individuals in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, keeping predatory animals as pets has gained popularity, posing challenges for authorities in effectively implementing legal measures safeguarding wildlife.
In the past, Baghdad’s police have urged citizens to collaborate with authorities to prevent these animals from being released onto the city’s streets or being used as exotic cuisine in restaurants. They encouraged the reporting of such incidents to address the issue.