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OFFBEAT

VIDEO: France’s presidential pooch caught peeing on ornate Elysee fireplace

President Emmanuel Macron's dog Nemo has been filmed casually peeing on an ornate fireplace at the Elysee Palace as the French leader met with members of his government.

VIDEO: France's presidential pooch caught peeing on ornate Elysee fireplace
Macron and Nemo. Photo: AFP

Macron's meeting with the three junior ministers was interrupted by the sound of Nemo relieving himself noisily and at length behind them, much to their amusement.

“He is doing something quite exceptional,” says Macron in the video recorded by the LCI news channel.

“It happens often?” asks one of the ministers.

“No,” Macron replies laughing, “You have triggered a totally unusual behaviour in my dog.”

Nemo, a black two-year-old labrador-griffin cross, is regularly photographed accompanying Macron and his wife Brigitte on official duties.

The Macrons adopted the dog from a rescue centre in August.

Nemo is not the first presidential pooch to misbehave.

Nicolas Sarkozy's dogs reportedly caused thousands of euros (dollars) worth of damage to furniture in the palace.

And Jacques Chirac's Maltese Bichon Sumo, apparently unable to cope with a return to the humdrum life after leaving the gilded splendour of the Elysee, had to undergo treatment for depression after biting his master three times.

TOURISM

France’s Asterix park to shut down dolphin show

A major amusement park in northern France said on Monday it would close its dolphin and sea lion aquarium, the day before lawmakers start to debate new animal welfare rules.

France's Asterix park to shut down dolphin show
France has long discussed imposing stricter rules on using wild animals in amusement parks. Illustration photo: AFP

The dolphin shows are a popular attraction at Parc Asterix, which normally has some two million visitors a year, but have long been a target of animal rights activists.

“We've been thinking about this for several years,” the park's managing director Nicolas Kremer told Le Parisien newspaper, saying the site wanted to focus instead on rides and other shows.

He said the dolphins would be transferred to other aquariums in Europe in the next two months, adding: “Reintroduction in a natural environment is not possible for these animals raised in captivity.”

A ban on captive breeding of dolphins and other marine mammals as well as their use in shows is a key part of the draft law, with the debate due to begin on Tuesday.

A previous effort to outlaw the practices by decree in 2017 was thrown out by the Council of State, France's highest administrative court, but animal rights group have kept up pressure for the ban.

“These associations think that captivity is abuse, but I can tell you that we have always ensured the wellbeing of our animals,” Kremer said.

The park, based on the beloved Asterix the Gaul comics, is hoping to reopen for the busy summer season on April 3rd if coronavirus restrictions are lifted by then.

READ ALSO: Disneyland Paris to begin 'phased reopening' in July

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