An oversized stuffed teddy bear has apparently missed his flight, thanks to the Transportation Security Administration.
The TSA posted an image of the teddy Wednesday on Instagram announcing the bear had been “abandoned by his owners” after TSA determined the toy was too large for a carry-on item.
After reminding travelers to check with their airline before attempting to bring large carry-on items on their flight, the post added, “If you see this wayward bear strolling the streets of LA, please feel free to feed him.”
The post elicited hundreds of comments largely criticizing the TSA for apparently depriving a child of his teddy bear.
After initially editing its Instagram post in response to the criticism, the TSA posted an update Thursday saying the agency has determined the whole thing was a “stunt” by a popular YouTube personality “to see if he could get the giant bear on the plane.”
“He even made up a backstory that the bear was a gift for his girlfriend. The bear did not belong to a child. The passenger had actually bought a ticket for the bear”, according to the TSA.
The post didn’t provide any further details on the YouTuber or a link to the referenced video.