Alex is the newest member of the airport's "Wag Brigade".
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Alex, the stress relief bunny at San Francisco International Airport
Credit: Courtesy of San Francisco International Airport

When it comes to calming pre-travel anxiety a giant rabbit may not always be first in mind, but at the San Francisco International Airport, Alex is helping to relax the nerves of uneasy passengers.

A 28-pound Flemish Giant rabbit named Alex the Great is the newest addition to the airport's Wag Brigade, a program that brings therapy-trained animals into the airport's terminals. Identifiable by their "Wag Brigade" vests, the animals patrol the airport for stressed-out passengers and help calm them down with some quality one-on-one time.

Alex is already a bit of a San Francisco legend, after having appeared at San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors games in their respective jerseys. He tends to make an impact wherever he goes. As a Flemish Giant, Alex is one of the largest breeds of rabbit on the planet. The breed is also known for its friendly personality and laid-back demeanor.

Alex "is known for being docile and patient in being handled, attributes well-suited for work on the Wag Brigade," according to the airport.

He is the first bunny to join the Wag Brigade and will be making several appearances at the airport each month. Travelers can stay updated on Alex's schedule by following him on Instagram.

The airport's "Wag Brigade" was formed in 2013 to help travelers dealing with anxiety. Since then, the brigade has grown to include 16 different animals. In addition to Alex, travelers could meet one of many adorable dogs, or even a pig named LiLou. All of the animals are certified by the San Francisco SPCA's Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).

The brigade took a 20-month break from service due to the COVID-19 pandemic and returned to the airport in October 2021. Before returning, the SPCA recertified all of the animals in their therapy program.

For more information about the animals — and how to follow their adorable therapy sessions on Instagram — visit the Wag Brigade web page.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.