French mayor forced to apologize after Ikea April Fool’s joke sparks outrage

A French mayor has apologised over her April Fool's prank after it sparked outrage among residents of her town.

French mayor forced to apologize after Ikea April Fool's joke sparks outrage
Photo: AFP
Caroline Cayeux, the mayor of Beauvais in the Oise department in northern France joked on Twitter that Swedish furniture giant Ikea would be opening in the town, a move which would bring 4,000 jobs with it. 
But perhaps unsurprisingly, the prank fell flat, with people calling it 'inappropriate' and criticising the mayor for 'unacceptably' raising the hopes of unemployed residents.
One Twitter user wrote: “What a great joke! I'm leaving my town in one week because it's impossible to find a job here.” (see below)
While another wrote: “Not only have you mocked your constituents but you have also mocked all those who hope to find a job. Shame on you!”
In an interview with French radio station Europe 1 on Tuesday, Cayeux apologised, saying that it “was not very wise” and that she was sorry that “some may have misinterpreted the joke”.


France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.