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Bridgitte Bardot Will Repatriate To Russia If French Kill 2 Elephants With TB

 

Brigitte Bardot, 1970's portrait: image via fanpop.comBrigitte Bardot, 1970's portrait: image via fanpop.comLast week, the great (and very rich) French actor Gerard Depardieu renownced his citizenship and defected to Russia, which apparently welcomed him and his money warmly.  Depardieu's protest was against the French government's 2-year plan to collect 75 percent income taxes from the very rich. (No one-percenters sheltering money in France, I suspect.)

Now, 1960's iconic sex symbol, actress Brigitte Bardot, threatens to follow in Depardieu's footsteps if two 42-year-old circus elephants diagnosed with tuberculosis are euthanized.  Using her stardom to further the cause of animal rights in France, Bardot has been appealing to authorities to stop the scheduled euthanization of two former circus elephants, Baby and Nepal, now residing at a Lyon Zoo. Rights activists appealed directly to President Francois Hollande, winning the elephants a Christmas reprieve from euthanasia.

 

Baby and Nepal have TB and are awaiting their fate in a French zoo: image AFP via thehindu.comBaby and Nepal have TB and are awaiting their fate in a French zoo: image AFP via thehindu.com

 

About 13 percent of captive elephants have TB. They contract it from humans or grazing animals, as it communicated by air, by spray or spit, or from body waste.  Elephants, who tend to put their trunks inside the mouths of other elephants, if they are on friendly terms, may contract TB in that fashion. 

Elephants with TB can be treated, and most captive elephants with the disease are treated, although they must be segregated from other animals and persons for at least a year and maybe permanently. Elephant veterinarians, like human doctors, are focused on new treatments for the disease.

Brigitte Bardot is even more French than Bordeaux wine, and frankly, denouncing her citizenship would not make that less so in our memories of her.  But is her threatened denunciation of France really the best she can do for animal rights, or even Baby and Nepal?  Or will the French simply smirk her off, as they did Depardieu, and ask her to please close the door behind her when she leaves for Moscow?

sources: AP via Huffington Post, The Hindu, ElephantCare.org


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