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French pensioner ready to die to stop pet wild boar being seized

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An 83-year-old former wine-grower says that he’d rather die than let game-wardens take away a wild boar he has reared at his home since finding it in the wild 14 months ago.

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“I will be very ill if they take him away from me, I’ve got a heart condition,” said Yvan Blaise, who lives in the village of Saint Paul-d’Espis in south-west France. “I’d rather they shoot me than the boar. I’ll stand in the way.”

Blaise found the boar when it was a little piglet when he was out hunting near his home.

Believing that its mother must have been shot he picked it up and took it home.

“I put him in a sock and took it back to the farm,” he told the Dépêche du Midi regional paper.

He and his wife, Alice, 80, called the beast Bamby and bottle-fed it, keeping it in the house until a specially heated sty with pool attached had been built.

Bamby now weighs 86 kilos but, despite wild boars’ reputation for fierceness when riled, the couple insist it is “like a big dog, it’s a very intelligent animal and grateful, too”.

But the idyll was disturbed on 5 May when two game-wardens arrived at the Blaises’ farm to tell them that they were not allowed to keep a wild animal.

“They said that they would take the beast, that they’d shoot him,’ said Blaise. “And then they said I’d have to pay a fine. With a pension of 780 euros a month, how do they expect us to pay?”

The couple suspect that a neighbour snitched on Bamby but are determined to fight to keep him.

The Fondation Brigitte Bardot, set up by the eponymous animal-loving former film star, has offered its support.

There is jurisprudence:

Chipie, another wild boar, was allowed to stay with owner Maruice Gayral, who claimed that raising the beast had cured him of alcoholism, after another film star, Alain Delon, came to his aid, offering to put both man and beast up at his home in 2009;

Mimie, a wild boar sow, is still with her owner, Evelyne Cornu, after a 10-month legal battle that ended with a symbolic suspended 100-euro fine and Cornu had obtained a permit; the pair had been together 12 years before the case came to court in 2011.
 

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