Liam English lost some moose meat, and quite a bit of it.
English, who was home in St. John's last week for a family funeral, decided to stock up on about 11 kilograms of moose meat to bring back to Ottawa.
Before heading to the airport on Sunday, English put the meat in a hard shell suitcase, along with a brand-new suit and other personal belongings. However, when he arrived at the airport in Toronto, where he had a four-hour layover before a connecting flight to Ottawa, his luggage was nowhere to be seen.
"It's been three or four days since I've seen the bag," said English, who added he has been trying, so far in vain, to get help from Air Canada in locating the missing luggage.
"I'm probably never going to see that moose again," he said, adding he has even offered to drive back to Toronto to help locate the suitcase. His offer has been rejected.
English said he had been trying to get some moose sent up to him for a while, and figured his trip home would be a good opportunity to get some meat from his friends to stock his freezer in Ottawa.
"I had four moose roasts, four moose steaks, three packs of ground moose and four packs of moose sausages," he told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show on Wednesday.
"My bag was about 15 pounds overweight."
More than meat in suitcase
Now that the bag is missing, English has come to the realization that putting his belongings — including the suit he had bought for the funeral — in a suitcase with the frozen meat was probably a bad idea.
"I'd just like to see the stuff, the personal items I have in my suitcase," he said.
"It's going to be quite the smelly suit to be wearing."
English said his bag wasn't insured but the airline said it would cover the cost of some of the items — but not the moose meat.
"They said the only thing they don't replace in the bag is perishable food items," he said.
"You can't put a value on it because it's illegal to sell it."
Theories of what happened to missing meat
With regards to what happened to the missing meat, English does have some theories.
One is that the frozen meat was somehow flagged by heat sensors during security checks at the airport.
Another more humorous possibility, he said, is that a fellow Newfoundlander discovered the suitcase and jumped at the opportunity to get a taste of some familiar cuisine from back home.
"My friends and I have come up with the conclusion that there's a gentleman in the Toronto airport who is from Newfoundland who happened to find my bag in the scanner or whatever," he said.
"[He] realized there was moose meat in it, put on my suit and is now sitting down for a feed of moose with all of his friends tonight."
English accepts he may never see the suitcase again, but there is still a glimmer of hope that it will be found — and the meat will still be frozen.
"Fingers crossed, I'd cry for days if I got there and the meat was frozen and the bag was in perfect condition," he said.
"I just hope someone tells me sometime along the way where my moose meat ended up or where my suitcase ended up."