The animal, more accurately a dromedary called Pépette, escaped as it was being pushed into its van to go home. It ran 1,5 km through the town, rushing down stairs, going the wrong way up one-way streets and hitting a police car.
“Suddenly, I saw a dromedary appear and hit our left wing. There was nothing I could do. Luckily I wasn’t driving fast,” policeman Laurent Legal told daily Metro France. Pépette, 500-kg beast, smashed Legal’s windscreen with its neck and head.
After hitting the police car, the renegade dromedary stood up and continued its race through the town for another 30 minutes. People meeting Pépette on its way rushed away screaming for help.
The local police and the camel driver at last encircled the animal and escorted it back to the Christmas village.
Pépette and its mate Cléopatre were the main attraction in the town's Christmas village. The local tourist office says Pépette ran away because the numerous spectators had frightened it.