Bear escapes crate in hold of Iraqi Airways plane

Credit: Twitter/Screengrab

Iraq's prime minister has ordered an investigation into how a bear escaped its crate in the hold of an Iraqi aircraft.

Iraqi Airways said it wasn't to blame for the bear's escape as the Baghdad-bound plane waited to take off from Dubai International Airport.

A video circulating on social media shows the plane's captain apologising to passengers for the delay because of the bear's escape from its crate in the cargo hold.

In another video, the bear can be seen poking its head out of the hold.

Iraqi Airways said the crew worked with authorities in the United Arab Emirates after discovering the bear's Houdini-like antics. Specialists sedated the animal and removed it from the plane.

Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel, declined to comment.

Keeping predatory animals as pets in Iraq, especially in Baghdad, has become popular among the wealthy.

Authorities have struggled to enforce legal provisions to protect wild animals.

Baghdad’s police has previously called on citizens to assist authorities in preventing such animals from being let loose on the city's streets or ending up as exotic meals in restaurant by reporting such cases.

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