Lion cub escapes from tamer’s home

A lion cub of four and a half months escaped from its owner in a town in western France, prompting a search party of police and firemen to gather to ensure her safe return.

Sylvie the lion cub was in the kitchen with her owner, lion tamer Frédéric Rosel, when a dog scared her and she ran off towards the neighbours' sunflower field in Sainte-Livrade, newspaper La Dépêche reports.

Fearing the four month old cub would hurt herself, the owner called the authorities for help in finding her.

A search party of two policemen, a team of firemen and a representative from the national office of hunting found Sylvie safe and well on Wednesday afternoon.

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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.