Dubai flight delayed as bear escapes its cage in cargo

Published on Aug 08, 2023 at 12:18 PM (UTC+4)
by Kate Bain

Last updated on Aug 10, 2023 at 3:47 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Dubai flight delayed as bear escapes its cage in cargo

A bear cub has broken loose in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Dubai to Baghdad. 

A specialized animal control team had to be called in to sedate the animal when workers at the Dubai airport discovered it was running amok on board. 

Incredible video footage actually shows workers opening the cargo hold and giving the bear a scratch on the head as they wait for animal control.

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Passengers on board the Iraq Airways flight from Dubai to Baghdad were told to disembark the plane while the animal control team worked to control the bear. 

It apparently took crews three hours to safely remove the bear, causing a long three-and-a-half-hour delay for those on board. 

The Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shayya’ Sabbar al Sudani has actually ordered an investigation into the incident. 

And Iraqi Airways has released a statement apologizing to those on board, but insisting it was not to blame for the bear’s escape.

You can watch the vid here!


A bear escaped from a crate in the cargo hold of an Iraqi Airways flight traveling from Baghdad to Dubai. A specialized team sedated the bear in Dubai and removed it from the plane, Iraqi Airways said in a statement. Iraqi Airways apologized to passengers saying the bear escaped the crate “upon arrival to Dubai Airport.” The airline did not say why the bear was on the plane or give additional details about the bear’s condition. #bear #dubai #airplane #cnn

♬ original sound – CNN

“The administration of the company apologizes to the travelers of the flight,” it said. 

“[When] the animal escaped the crate specified for its shipment… the plane crew coordinated with UAE’s authority who sent a specialized team to sedate the animal and take it off the plane. 

“After checking the plane and making sure there is no damage from this incident, the flight returned to Baghdad.” 

Unsurprisingly, people on Twitter / X are now comparing the situation to the 2006 action thriller movie Snakes on a Plane starring Samuel L Jackson. 

“What I learned today – I’d rather have snakes on a plane than bears on a plane. I can catch or kill a snake, bears can catch and kill me,” Dr Mojo Martian said. 

“Of all the things to worry about on a plane, I didn’t know a bear was one of them,” one woman said. 

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Kate Bain

Kate Bain is the Page Editor at She is based in Dubai and coordinates coverage of the latest news across automotive, technology, and lifestyle. Kate has a bachelor's degree in business and post graduate in journalism. She is an experienced editor and journalist who has worked for News Corp, Daily Mail Australia, and Sky News. When she's not at work, you'll find her attached at the hip to her dog, Thor. Kate is currently on maternity leave following the birth of her first child.