A plucky teenager got a bit too close to a cage containing a tiger as a circus was being set up in the southern town of Nissan-lez-Ensérune.

"/> A plucky teenager got a bit too close to a cage containing a tiger as a circus was being set up in the southern town of Nissan-lez-Ensérune.

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CIRCUS

12-year-old bitten by Bengal tiger

A plucky teenager got a bit too close to a cage containing a tiger as a circus was being set up in the southern town of Nissan-lez-Ensérune.

12-year-old bitten by Bengal tiger
Claudio Gennari

The 12-year-old was skateboarding with two friends on Wednesday when they came across the circus, which was in the process of being set up, reported newspaper Ouest-France.

The boy approached one of the cages, which contained a lion and two Bengal tigers.

He stood on a barrier surrounding the cage and gripped one of the bars of the cage to steady himself and get a closer look at the animals.

Too close for comfort for one of the tigers, which decided to try to take a chunk out of the boy’s left hand.

The boy was rushed to hospital where his injuries were not too serious.

There was little sympathy on offer, with even the boy’s mother saying she wouldn’t be making an official complaint.

“He was actually quite lucky,” said police, “even if he was really foolish.”


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ANIMAL

White tiger seized at house in southeast France

Investigators in southeast France have seized a white tiger cub at the home of a suspected exotic animal trafficker, while pythons and endangered marsupials were found at his mother's house, a police source said Saturday.

White tiger seized at house in southeast France
The tiger, called Hermes, was taken to Barben zoo. Photo: Ho / Gendarmerie National/AFP
Members of the public health agency OCLAESP were recently informed of the illegal sale of lemurs and their investigations led them to the suspect's premises.
   
The arrested man is believed to have cashed the sum of 17,000 euros ($19,000) “but had not yet handed the small primates from Madagascar to the buyer,” the French police said in a statement.
   
A raid on his home uncovered the white tiger cub, while a simultaneous operation at the home of the suspect's mother in northeast France uncovered four sugar gliders — small, nocturnal marsupials native to part of Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea — as well as nine snakes including two royal pythons.
 
 
Appearing before a judge, the arrested man was immediately jailed for eight months in connection with an earlier fraud case.
   
Illegal trafficking in wild animals is punishable in France by a year in prison and a 15,000 euro fine.
 
The baby tiger, now called Hermes, was taken to the Barben zoo in southeast France.
 
White tigers are not a separate subspecies. The white fur is a rare genetic mutation which is mainly seen among animals inbred in captivity.
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