A BEAR launched a daring break-out from a crate onboard a passenger plane at the world's busiest airport.
Panicked passengers were forced to stay grounded as specialists rushed to the hold to tranquillise the escaped beast at Dubai International Airport.
Bizarre footage shows the airport staff touching the beast almost affectionately as it freely prowls around in the cargo hold before the experts arrive.
Iraqi Airways has insisted it was not to blame for the predator's escape, while Iraq's prime minister has ordered an investigation into the blunder.
The wild animal is seen wandering freely around the plane's hold, which was parked at the world's busiest airport that handles up to 1,100 flights a day.
Terrified passengers were forced to disembark as specialists sedated the animal and later removed it from the aircraft.
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The captain allegedly was forced to apologise to disgruntled passengers over the delay.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shayya' Sabbar al Sudani demanded an investigation into the almost-success of the bear's bid for freedom.
Iraqi Airways has claimed that it had followed the proper procedures to transport the bear that are approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The airline originally said that the bear was being flown from Baghdad to Dubai, however an Iraqi Airways official speaking anonymously confirmed that it was being flown to Baghdad.
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In a statement, the airline apologised to the passengers of the plane for the delay that was "beyond the control of the company".
They added: “The delay happened because of a shipment in the cargo hold. Upon arrival to Dubai Airport, the animal escaped the crate specified for its shipment."
The airline withheld the reason for the bear's transportation and any additional details on its welfare.
The statement continued: “After checking the plane and making sure there is no damage from this incident the flight returned to Baghdad.”
Keeping predatory animals as pets in Iraq especially in Baghdad has become popular among the wealthy.
Iraqi authorities have struggled to control the imports of wild animals or to enforce rules to protect them.
Baghdad's police force has previously called on citizens to help prevent the dangerous animals being let loose on the city's streets or ending up as exotic meals in restaurants by reporting such cases.
It comes as last month, German cops were convinced a lion was prowling the streets of Berlin's suburbs.
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Hundreds of officers, armed vehicles and helicopters joined "Operation Lion Hunt" in a desperate bid to locate the dangerous animal.
After an extensive two-day search, no trace of the wild animal was found and police were forced to admit that the "lioness" was probably just a wild boar.
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