A dog has survived six days in the desert after breaking free from their carrier and escaping from a plane while it was still on the runway in Iquique, Chile.
The two year old Dachshund, named Gaspar, was travelling on an internal flight from Iquique to Santiago, where he had been placed inside a pet carrier in the plane’s hold. The dog was travelling with owner Janis Cavieres’ best friend, Ligia Gallardo, who completed the journey convinced that her furry friend was safe and secure along with the rest of the plane’s cargo.
Upon landing, however, Ms. Gallardo was stunned to collect an empty carrier at the destination airport.
Officials reportedly told her that there had been an accident and that the carrier had fallen from the stationary plane’s hold and broken open upon impact. Subsequently, the dog had escaped into the nearby Atacama Desert.
The dog had been spotted several times in the desert, according to local media, but could not be caught. Following a social media campaign, the airline and a local army unit assisted in the search before Gaspar was finally retrieved.
Speaking of the dog’s rescue, veterinarian Paola Bravo said:
“He was dirty, stressed and malnourished. He was missing for six days and lost lot of weight.”
The airline has accepted full responsibility for Gaspar’s escape, and is currently investigating the logistics behind what happened.
Whilst the protocol for travelling with pets varies around the world, all UK airlines currently require pets to travel in the hold and not in the cabin with their owners. There may be some cause for a reconsideration of such rules, however, following a string of pet-related airline incidents.
Most notably, cabin crew on one JetBlue flight saved the life of this French Bulldog by administering an oxygen mask when she became unconscious. It is perhaps the worry of similar events happing that deters many pet owners from taking their beloved animals abroad.
Here’s our guide to all you need to know about flying with pets.
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