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BAGHDAD – A bear could have put a scare into passengers waiting to fly from Dubai to Iraq on Friday, but the animal simply left them annoyed as their flight was delayed.

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The bear escaped from its crate in the cargo hold of an Iraqi Airways flight that was scheduled to leave Dubai International Airport, The Associated Press reported.

A video clip circulating on social media showed the plane’s captain apologizing to passengers, the AP reported.

Mohammed Shayya’ Sabbar Al-Sudani, Iraq’s prime minister, has ordered an investigation, according to the news organization.

Keeping predatory animals as pets in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, has become popular among the nation’s wealthy, according to the AP.

There was some confusion about whether the plane was flying from Baghdad to Dubai, or the other way around.

CNN, quoting a spokesperson from Iraqi Airways, said the company apologized, adding that the bear had escaped the crate “upon arrival to Dubai Airport.”

“The company apologizes to the passengers on the flight from Baghdad International Airport to Dubai Airport for reasons beyond the control of the company,” the company said in a statement. “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 said, adding that it was being transported in line with international animal welfare guidelines.

However, a person on the video clip that went viral on social media said the plane was in Dubai and was an hour late. One clip showed passengers petting the bear.

An Iraqi Airways official confirmed to the AP on Sunday that the bear was, in fact, being transported to Baghdad from Dubai. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter publicly. He declined to name the animal’s owner.

Regardless of which direction the plane was headed, there was still a bear in the aircraft.

Animal specialists were called in to sedate the bear and remove it from the aircraft, according to The National, a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates.