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French death row elephants get fresh reprieve

Published on Jan 17, 2013 5:58 AM
This file picture taken on January 6, 2013 shows Baby and Nepal, two elephants suffering from tuberculosis, standing in their enclosure, at the "Parc de la Tête d'Or" Zoo in Lyon, central eastern France. -- PHOTO: AFP

LYON (AFP) - Two ailing zoo elephants, whose death sentence led Brigitte Bardot to threaten to go into exile in Russia, have been given another reprieve to await a court decision on their future.

Baby and Nepal face being put down because they have been diagnosed with tuberculosis and deemed a threat to the health of other animals and visitors to the Tete d'Or zoo in the eastern city of Lyon.

The municipal order delivered last month to euthanise them prompted an outcry that resulted in them being granted a temporary reprieve over Christmas.

Then cinema legend-turned-animal-rights-campaigner Bardot chipped in. She threatened to leave France for Russia if the reprieve was not made permanent - emulating fellow actor Gerard Depardieu's adoption of Russian nationality and move into tax exile.

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