French woman has part of finger sliced off by La Poste mailbox

A French woman's trip to visit her parents in their tiny Provençal village turned into a nightmare when part of her finger was severed as she posted a letter in the La Poste mailbox.

French woman has part of finger sliced off by La Poste mailbox
Photo: AFP

It's an innocuous act that we've all done before and will do many times in the future, although perhaps with a little more care after reading this story.

Placing a letter in the yellow La Poste mailboxes is a harmless act for 99.99 percent of the time but it went horribly awry for a 31-year-old physiotherapist in a village in the south east of France.

After visiting her parents for lunch in the village of Peipin near Digne-les-Bains she went to post a letter in the post box but as she pulled her hand out of the mailbox the top part of her left middle finger was severed by the metal flap and fell into the box, La Provence newspaper reported.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene and the post box had to be smashed in so they could retrieve the severed part of the finger.

The unfortunate woman was rushed to hospital at Aix-en-Provence, but surgeons were unable to re-graft the part of the part finger back on.

As the picture above shows, most post boxes in France have metal flaps that open and close when letters are dropped in. It is not clear whether there have been other cases of people loses parts of their digits when posting letters.

Take care posting those letters in future.

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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.