Brigitte 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
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.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
That's the buzz for today!