An Iraqi Airways flight was delayed after a bear was found to have escaped from its crate container inside the aircraft’s cargo hold.
Flight IA 123 arrived in Dubai International Airport (DXB) from Baghdad International Airport (BGW) when crew members discovered that a bear being kept inside the B737 aircraft’s cargo hold had broken out of its container.
Video clips of the incident have circulated on social media, showing the bear peeking out of the cargo door, and the cargo crew giving the bear a rub on the head.
Airline crew then coordinated with wildlife authorities from the UAE (United Arab Emirates) to sedate the animal before removing it from the aircraft.
The South China Morning Post reported that the Iraqi minister has ordered an investigation to look into how the bear managed to escape.
Although there are no available details who the bear belonged to and why it was being transported, some of the ultra-high net worth population in the Middle East are known to keep exotic and unusual wildlife as pets.