Ahead of the operation to knock down the squalid slum, hundreds of migrants were queueing up in the pre-dawn darkness for buses to take them to housing sites around France.
“Bye Bye, Jungle!” one group of migrants shouted as they hauled luggage through the muddy lanes of the shantytown where thousands of mainly Afghans, Sudanese and Eritreans had holed up, desperate to sneak into Britain.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that 1,918 migrants had left Calais on buses bound for 80 reception centres across France under a heavy police presence. In total some 2,300 Jungle residents, including 400 minors, were moved out of the camp on Monday.
“We don't know yet where we are going, but it will obviously be better than the Jungle, which was made for animals not humans,” said Wahid, a 23-year-old Afghan.
Police at one point intervened to break up a scuffle but Cazeneuve said the operation proceeded in a generally “calm and orderly manner”.
The Jungle's hundreds of unaccompanied minors have been the main focus of charities' concerns.
In an eleventh-hour gesture, Britain has taken in nearly 200 teenagers over the past week, mostly children with relatives there, but the transfers were on hold Monday.
Hundreds more have been interviewed by British immigration officials and many are still awaiting a reply.
Some 400 youngsters are being provisionally housed in shipping containers in a part of the Jungle where families had been living.
Cazeneuve said all unaccompanied minors “with proven family links in Great Britain” would eventually be transferred from the Jungle across the Channel.
British interior minister Amber Rudd said London was contributing up to £36 million (40 million euros, $44 million) towards the operation to clear the