Escaped camels cause motorway chaos

Video: Two roaming camels disrupted the traffic on a motorway near the city of Caen in the north of France on Monday. No accidents were reported.

Escaped camels cause motorway chaos
Pierre Anne

“Oh my god, two big camels ran right next to me,” says the anonymous driver who filmed the incident. The driver witnessed two camels roaming on the A84 motorway between the north-western city of Rennes and Caen.  

On the footage, it appears a lorry and a couple of cars braked abruptly when they saw the camels and tried to create a barrage around the animals.

Several stunned drivers called up the police, local paper Côté Caen reports. 

The two animals had escaped from a circus, the Ritz, which had set up camp in the town of Verson. 

“They were sighted on motorway, near Verson, roaming for about 20 minutes,” says a police officer, who did not give his name, in an interview with Côté Caen. The police reports the camels left the motorway and were safely picked up in nearby village.

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Paris authorities to shut down bird market over cruelty concerns

The Paris city council on Wednesday agreed to shut down a live bird market operating in the historic centre close to Notre Dame cathedral, responding to rights activists who called it a cruel and archaic operation.

Paris authorities to shut down bird market over cruelty concerns
Photo: AFP

The bird market on Louis Lepine square in the centre of the French capital has long been a fixture in Paris, operating close to the famous flower market.

But Christophe Najdovski, Paris' deputy mayor in charge of animal welfare, said that the market was a centre for bird trafficking in France while conditions for the birds were not acceptable.

“This is why we are committed to changing the regulations to ban the sale of birds and other animals,” he said.

The closure had been urged by activists from the Paris Animals Zoopolis collective who had called the practice of showing the caged birds “cruel and archaic”.

France and Paris have in the last months adopted a series of measures aiming to show they are at the forefront of efforts to protect animal welfare.

The government said in September it planned to “gradually” ban mink farms as well the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and dolphins and orcas in theme parks.

Parc Asterix, which normally has some two million visitors a year, announced last month it would close its dolphin and sea lion aquarium.