A healthy 3-foot-long rabbit dies on United Airlines


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/04/26/a-healthy-3-foot-long-rabbit-d.html

United killed this giant rabbit



I swear on my copy of Steal This Book that I’m not trying to white-knight United by saying this.

But in and of itself, a seemingly healthy (but very physiologically unusual) rabbit suddenly dying during a stressful event that lasted eight hours… that’s not very surprising. Rabbits can die of stress, and that wouldn’t show up in the vet exam because, y’know, it wouldn’t have happened yet.

I’m definitely open to the possibility that United fucked up somehow. And god knows airlines have been murderously indifferent to pets’ welfare in the past. But if the pressure and temperature were what they were supposed to be, and there was no obvious physical trauma, and the rabbit didn’t sit on the tarmac without water for three days, then it’s probably too soon to pin this on United.


Unfortunately, the rabbit had a troubled past.

(Stolen from twitter: @kashanacauley )


Yep. A healthy rabbit is still a delicate balancing act. Plenty of resources caution against bathing rabbits let alone putting them in the hold of an airplane. Would not be surprised if he died of shock or GI stasis or both.



Sorry. Couldn’t help it. I’ll show myself out…


That would be safer.

That’s already one fucking Frankenstein of a rabbit…


OK, so, to sum up, United breaks:

  • Guitars.
  • Doctors.
  • Rodents Rabbits of unusual size.


O’Hare. Makes sense.


Not really. Not even the same species.


As long as they can mend their fences and make beautiful baby bunnies together, being different species is just another conquerable challenge.


Oversize animals like this often come with their own set of health challenges. Also, this woman is breeding gargantuan animals as novelty pets for the rich and famous, then shipping them in the cargo hold of a plane on a transcontinental flight. If I had to single out the douchebags in this story, I would probably pick her and her customer.

I guess I’m already wary of people who make their living by breeding animals.


I believe we have our culprit:


This one strikes me as bad luck for United. I know that the rabbit had a checkup with a vet shortly before departing for the flight but as a rabbit owner everything I read about them always seems to comeback to the point that they are delicately balanced creatures that can fall apart in moments of stress. So much to the point that some of the literature discourages bathing because the combination of temperature change and general stress of being wet can cause them to go into shock. I can’t imagine that riding in the hold of a plane is anything but stressful to a rabbit and given the size of the creature in question there are probably some underlying conditions as well.


Something something O’Hare pun. Too soon?

I remember the simpler times when this was the sort of PR problem they had:


Sad it’s dead, but the pic is unrealistic. As a student of fish pics, this is called the “pushout”, where the wide angle makes it look huge compared to the holder.


Rabbit in the picture is the father of the RoUS in question.


Ugh. How sad. :frowning:

This happens way too often with animals in flight. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I ever relocate to, say, Silicon Valley for work and need to bring my cats. :frowning:


Road trip!


As a master of fish pics, I couldn’t agree more. Also important to hide the elbows behind the fish. But we digress: it’s a big fucking rabbit irrespective of the optics.