• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Pensioner shoots son mistaking him for bird

Joshua Melvin · 23 Jun 2014, 15:25

Published: 23 Jun 2014 15:25 GMT+02:00

A Frenchman aged in his 70s noticed some rustling in his cherry tree tree on Saturday night in north-western France and, assuming it was hungry blackbirds pillaging his fruit, he pulled out his shotgun and opened fire.

But the movement in the tree was not in fact scavenging birds, but the elderly man’s 46-year-old son who'd climbed the tree to pick some fruit, French magazine L’Express reported on Monday.

The son was rushed to a hospital and his father’s gun was seized by police. 

Miraculously, despite being hit in the cheek, arm and hand, the son suffered only minor injuries that were not deemed life threatening.

This story almost qualifies as having a happy ending in comparison to some other recent and more tragic shooting accidents in France.

In October last year, The Local reported how a 61-year-old hunter accidentally killed his own son during a hunt in the Ardèche region, after mistaking him for a wild boar. The man opened fire after seeing a shadow he assumed belonged to a boar.

That same week a 6-year-old boy was killed after a dog knocked over a loaded gun during a hunt, causing it to shoot the child. In that case the owner of the gun and his 16-year-old son were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

These two fatalities came in the wake of an 82-year-old hard-of-hearing hunter opening fire on and wounded two people out collecting wild mushrooms.The man, who had neglected to put in his hearing aid before the hunt, said he thought he was shooting at a pheasant that had popped up out of the bushes.

One of the victims was injured critically, which led to the hunter being stripped of his license for five years and having his gun confiscated.  

The Association for the Protection of Wild Animals (ASPAS) which is campaigning for a ban on hunting on Sundays and for more safety measures to be introduced, denounced the “tragedies that can be added to the list of accidents that is already too long”.  

Speaking to The Local previously, Pierre Athanaze, the head of ASPAS, said the laws needed to be changed in France to prevent more deaths.

“France is the only country in Europe where people can hunt every day, which is why we are the country in Europe with the most accidents."

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France could cancel summer events over terror fears
Photo: AFP

Summer events in towns and villages across France could be cancelled if there is a lack of security.

VIDEO: Police raid on French church captured on video
Photo: Le Telegramme

Part of the police stand-off at the church in northern France where two jihadists killed a priest was caught on camera by a witness.

EU picks Frenchman to lead Brexit talks with UK
Photo: AFP

A Frenchman will lead the fraught Brexit talks between the EU and the UK over the coming years.

France seeks unity and resists calls to toughen terror laws
Photo: AFP

Does France need tough new laws or cohesion and unity among its communities?

The best and worst things about France in the summer
Photo: AFP

There are some things that make France the best place to be in summer, and then there are others that drive us mad.

Air France passengers set for week of travel misery
Photo: AFP

One third of Air France flights to be scrapped on Wednesday as week-long strike begins.

How was 'ticking time bomb' free to attack French church?
Photo taken from Facebook page believed to belong to Adel Kermiche.

France facing more questions about security measures after priest slain during mass by known extremist who was awaiting trial.

France faces same big questions after latest attack
Photo: AFP

The latest terror attack has left France facing similar questions to those it has tackled numerous times since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January last year. So how will France react?

Muslim leaders denounce attack on French church
CFCM President Anouar Kbibech in front of the Grande Mosque in Paris, June 2015. Photo: AFP

France's Muslim leaders have denounced Tuesday's apparent terror attack at a church, and called for the country's Muslims to band together in support.

French workers 'pay the most taxes in Europe'
Photo: AFP

From tomorrow the French will be the only workers in Europe still handing over money to the taxman.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
2,765
jobs available