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Paris police sent to deal with rabbits undermining Les Invalides

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Feb 15, 2024, 12:50:44 PMFeb 15

Napoleon, once forced by rabbits into a humiliating defeat, isn’t safe
from them even in his tomb

History tells us that eight years before his defeat at Waterloo in 1815,
Napoleon Bonaparte was forced into a humiliating retreat when a horde of
rabbits charged at him.

Now, even in his tomb under the magnificent golden dome of Les Invalides
in Paris, the emperor is still troubled by the fluffy miscreants.
Rabbits gambol on the lawns in front of the monument, delighting
tourists but infuriating the authorities with the damage caused by their

The Paris préfecture is sending the police to remove some 300 rabbits
which, it says, have caused at least €360,000 of damage to gardens,
pipes and drains.

In 1807, Napoleon faced a more direct attack when up to 3,000 rabbits
were released for a hunt near Paris. Instead of running away, however,
the tame bunnies hurled themselves at the horrified emperor, hoping to
be fed.

Panicked, he fled to his carriage, leaving the rabbits in possession of
the field. Two centuries later, Paris police hope they will succeed in
controlling the animals that forced France’s greatest general into an
undignified retreat.

“Two operations have taken place in the past three weeks,” a préfecture
spokesman said. “Twenty-four healthy rabbits were captured each time.
They were vaccinated and then released.” The rabbits were set free on a
vast estate in Bréau, about 30 miles southeast of Paris, which the
spokesman said was a humane solution to avoid exterminating them.

More captures are planned under the supervision of a wildlife control
co-ordinator. The préfecture spokesman said the rabbits would not be
harmed, but animal rights activists argue that moving them is cruel and

“A number of rabbits will die during capture and potentially during
transport,” the Paris Animaux Zoopolis group said, pointing out that the
rabbits’ new home was near the headquarters of the local hunters’
federation. The préfecture insisted that hunters would not be allowed to
target them.

In 2021, a decision to classify rabbits in Paris as pests, which would
have paved the way for their extermination, was reversed after an outcry
from animal rights groups.

Rabbit remains a staple of French cuisine, however. Lapin chasseur, or
hunter’s rabbit stew, is a popular dish, cooked with white wine, bacon
and mushrooms.

David Chazan


Feb 15, 2024, 7:00:12 PMFeb 15
So Funny

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