GRAPHIC: Thousands of baby chickens die at airport after being left in sweltering heat

Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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MIAMI (WPLG) - Thousands of baby chickens were found dead inside cardboard boxes at Miami International Airport after being left out on the tarmac.

According to officials, the baby chickens were taken off a plane, put on the tarmac, and left there for hours on a day when the heat index hit 99 degrees.

An investigation is now underway as the chickens were reportedly part of a shipment heading to the Abaco Big Bird Family Farm in the Bahamas. They arrived in Miami on a Delta flight that landed at around 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

The boxes were unloaded from the plane’s cargo bin by baggage handlers and placed into metal carts.

Officials said they were then supposed to be taken by employees of Alliance Ground International, where they would be stored overnight before being picked up by another shipping company to be transported to the Bahamas.

However, the chickens were not taken off the tarmac and instead sat in the Florida sun. And by the time workers noticed the chickens, thousands had died.

According to the family farm, 5,200 baby chickens were initially in the shipment, but the farm said only 1,300 made it there alive.

All of the parties involved in the shipment of the chickens said they are investigating what happened that day.

A representative with the Abaco Big Bird Family Farm said they haven’t seen anything like this in their 27 years of business and were horrified to hear what happened.

Law enforcement agencies in Florida did not immediately comment about a possible criminal investigation.

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