An investigation has been launched after a bear managed to escape its crate in the cargo hold of aeroplane.
The animal had to be sedated and the plane’s takeoff delayed so it could be removed from the flight. A video has since emerged on social media of passengers being told the aircraft was leaving an hour late.
A person speaking on the video can be heard saying passengers were being disembarked from the airline. The flight eventually left Dubai International Airport on its way to Baghdad.
Iraqi Airlines, which was transporting the animal, has now denied it was responsible for the escape. While the country’s prime minister has ordered an investigation.
The Telegraph says an Iraqi Airways official confirmed that the bear was being transported to the Iraqi capital. The official declined to reveal the identity of the animal’s owner.
Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel, declined to comment.
Keeping predators such as bears as pets has become popular among wealthy people in Iraq. The authorities have struggled to enforce laws protecting wild animals.