VIDEO: See how you can help the four rescued French lion cubs

A fundraising campaign has been set up for four lion cubs who were rescued from apartments, a garage and a luxury car in France so they can be sent to a game reserve in South Africa.

VIDEO: See how you can help the four rescued French lion cubs
This lion cub was found in a Lamborghini on the Champs-Elysees

In recent months several lions apparently being kept as pets have been rescued – including one that was found in a Lamborghini on the Champs-Elysées.

Four of the young lions have been found a temporary home in Lyon, but now a British animal welfare charity is trying to raise enough money to have the quartet moved to a game reserve in South Africa.


Lizzie Moyes, spokesman for animal charity Born Free, said: “There are four young lion cubs in Lyon that we’re fundraising to take to South Africa to give them a home for life.

“They were all found separately in France – in an apartment, a garage, even a Lamborghini on the Champs-Elysées. 

“They were all subject to the exotic pet trade and were found in horrendous conditions.”

The four lions were part of what appears to have become something of a trend in France – illegally keeping wild animals as pets.

One of the lions, since christened Dadou, was found on Paris’ most famous street – the Champs-Elysées – in the back of a Lamborghini.

His owner was caught by police officers taking photos with the cub. Dadou, who is missing the tip of his tail, is also thought to be about seven months old.

When he was found, he had weak hind legs, but has now recovered.

The largest of the four cubs – named Horus – was found in reasonably good health on a child’s bed in an apartment on the outskirts of Paris.

A lion cub was found on a child's bed in a Paris apartment. Photo: Twitter

His owner, who was hiding in a neighbour’s cupboard when Horus was found, had posted images of the cub on Snapchat. He was sentenced to six months in prison for illegally keeping a wild animal.

The cub christened Kuuma was found on the same day as Horus in a garage in Marseille.

She was very unwell and underweight, with a skin irritation, dull coat, gastrointestinal problems and corneal ulcers.

This lion cub was found in a garage in Marseille. Photo  Douanes Francaises / AFP

Now thought to be about seven months old, Kuuma has since recovered, but her eyes are being monitored. Her owner has been prosecuted and the case is waiting to go to court.

The fourth cub – thought to be about five months old – was given up to an animal charity by her owner after the animal became very unwell.

She had glaucoma, and was under-developed and underweight, with extreme hair loss and diarrhoea.

The cub, who has so far not been named, is now doing much better. Her hair has grown back and she is slowly gaining weight.

Born Free wants to take the four cubs to its big cat rescue centre in Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa.

To find out more or make a donation, click here.

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Snobs, beaches and drunks – 5 things this joke map teaches us about France

A popular joke 'map' of France has once again been widely shared on social media, sparking endless jokes at the expense of certain regions of France.

Snobs, beaches and drunks - 5 things this joke map teaches us about France
Image AFP/
But while the map – created by – is clearly intended to be comic, it teaches us some important points about France’s regional divides, local stereotypes and in-jokes.

Here are some of the key points.
1. Everyone hates Parisians
The map is purportedly France as seen through the eyes of Parisians, and contains a series of snobbish and rude generalisations about every part of France that is not maison (home) in the capital and its surroundings. The great majority of the country is labelled simply as paysans (peasants).
The general stereotype about Parisians is that they are snobs, rudely judging the rest of the country which they regard as backwards and full of ploucs (yokels) apart from small areas which make nice holiday destinations.
Like all sweeping generalisations, this is true of some people and very much not of others, but one of the few things that can unite people from all areas of France is how much they hate les parigots têtes de veaux (a colloquialism that very roughly translates as ‘asshole Parisians’)
2. Staycations rule
Even before Covid-related travel restrictions, holidaying within France was the norm for many French people.
As the map shows, Parisians regard the southern and western coastlines as simply plages (beaches) which they decamp to for at least a month in July or August. In the height of summer French cities tend to empty out (apart from tourists) as locals head to the seaside or the countryside.
In winter the Pyrenees and Alps are popular ski destinations.
3. Northerners like a drink
There is a very widespread stereotype, although not really backed up by evidence, that the people of Normandy, Brittany and the Nord area like a drink or two. Many suggest this is to cope with the weather, which does tend to be rainier than the rest of France (although has plenty of sunshine too).
Official health data doesn’t really back this up, as none of these areas show a significantly greater than average rate of daily drinkers, although Nord does hold the sad record for the highest rate of people dying from alcohol-related liver disease.
What’s certainly true is that Brittany and Normandy are cider country, with delicious locally-produced ciders on sale everywhere, well worth a try if you are visiting.
4. Poverty
The map labels the north eastern corner of France as simply pauvres – the poor.
The north east of the country was once France’s industrial and coal-mining heartland, and as traditional industries have declined there are indeed pockets of extreme poverty and high unemployment. The novel The End of Eddy, telling the story of novelist Edouard Louis’ childhood in a struggling small town near Amiens, lays out the social problems of such areas in stark detail.
However poverty is not just confined to one corner of France and the département that records the highest levels of deprivation is actually Seine-Saint-Denis in the Paris suburbs.
5. Southern prejudice
According to the map, those from the south are either branleurs (slackers) or menteurs (liars). 
This isn’t true, obviously, there are many lovely, hard-working and truthful people in southern France, but the persistent stereotype is that they are lazy – maybe because it’s too hot to do much work – and slightly shifty.
Even people who aren’t actually rude about southerners can be pretty patronising, as shown when south west native Jean Castex became the prime minister in summer 2020. 
Castex has a noticeable south west accent which sparked much comment from the Paris-based media and political classes, with comments ranging from the patronising – “I love his accent, I feel like I’m on holiday” – to the very patronising – “that accent is a bit rugby” (a reference to the fact that TV rugby commentators often come from France’s rugby heartlands in the south west).
In his first year as PM, Castex has undertaken a dizzying schedule of appointments around the four corners of France, so hopefully the lazy myth can now be put to bed.
And anyone tempted to take the piss out of his accent – glottophobie (accent prejudice) is now a crime in France.
For more maps that reflect France, head to