Maybe Don’t Bring Your Pet Bear On A Plane

Maybe Don’t Bring Your Pet Bear On A Plane

Photo: Ali Mukarrem Garip/Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)

I get it. Bears are adorable. They’ve got those big fluffy faces, the round bodies; from a distance they look eminently pettable. They’re friend-shaped. But bears aren’t domesticated, and you shouldn’t keep one as a pet. Just ask the poor folks on a recent Iraqi Airways flight, who were delayed after a bear got loose in the plane’s cargo hold.

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The Guardian has the story of a Iraqi Airways flight, which was delayed in Dubai after a bear escaped from its crate in the plane. The bear was bound for Baghdad, likely to be kept as a flashy pet. From The Guardian:

An Iraqi Airways official confirmed to the Associated Press on Sunday that the bear was, in fact, being transported to the Iraqi capital. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak about the matter publicly, declined to name the animal’s owner.

Keeping predatory animals as pets in Iraq – especially in Baghdad – has become popular among wealthy residents.

Authorities have struggled to enforce legal provisions to protect wild animals. Baghdad’s police have previously called on citizens to assist authorities in preventing such animals from being let loose on the city’s streets or ending up as meals in restaurant by reporting such cases.

No matter how cute a bear is, it’s not going to make a good pet. Apparently, as the passengers and crew of that flight discovered, it’ll make an even worse bit of airline cargo. Just get yourself something normal, like a dog or a cat or a rock, and leave the apex predators to their place in the wild. I assure you, your flights will be a lot more timely if you do.