CBC News acknowledges that this story is incomplete. What's missing is a response from Air Canada. Our Journalistic Standards and Practices demand fairness and balance in our stories. And in a rush to publish the story we did not make an effort to include the perspective of the airline. That was a mistake. We would be pleased to update the story with comments from Air Canada if the airline chooses to offer them.
A suitcase filled with moose meat that was destined for Ottawa but which went AWOL after it was checked in at the Air Canada desk at St. John's International Airport, has been located intact — albeit with rotten contents.
Liam English said Air Canada contacted him on Wednesday, hours after he spoke publicly about his missing suitcase on The St. John's Morning Show.
English, who was travelling back to Ottawa from a family funeral in St. John's Sunday, said the suitcase contained 11 kilograms of moose meat, a suit and personal belongings.
'Me and the Air Canada rep were gagging' - Liam English on smell of rotted moose meat
The Newfoundland man said he was relieved when the airline told him the suitcase was located in Toronto, where he had caught a connecting flight to Ottawa. He was also told that the meat was nowhere to be found.
However, when English accompanied an Air Canada representative to reclaim the hard shell suitcase, they made a malodorous discovery.
"I opened it up and sure enough, the moose meat was spoiled in my bag," English told CBC News Thursday.
"The smell was probably the most putrid thing I've ever put to my nose."
"Me and the Air Canada rep were gagging — it was pretty bad," he said.
Meat juices stewed for 4 days
The suitcase and the game inside were immediately thrown in the garbage. However, English said he is going to try and salvage some of the clothing.
"All my clothes in the suitcase was ruined, I have moose blood juice — unfortunately that's pretty disgusting — but I have it all over some of my shirts, my clothes, my suit, the towels."
According to English, Air Canada told him that the tags on his suitcase had been ripped off, leading it to veer off its regular course.
The explanation is suspicious to English.
"I have my theories that they may have just ripped off the tags so that they have a way to cover for it. But there's no real way to say," he said.
Now sans moose meat, English said he has learned for the next time he decides to ship moose by air.
"I don't think they're going to pay a dime to me for the damages," English said. "I guess it's my own fault for not packing it better."
"If I do have to bring it in the future, I'd say I'll probably bring one of those little Styrofoam coolers."