A couple of months ago, François Hollande was presented with a baby camel by local authorities in Timbuktu in appreciation for France’s military action against Islamist militants in Mali. The animal did not come quietly.
Hollande had initially hoped to have the camel vaccinated and transported to a Parisian zoo, but decided it would be easiest for the French and best for the beast if it were entrusted to a local Timbuktu family who had suffered damage to their property from French tanks.
It appears that his trust was misplaced. France’s minister of defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, delivered the news last week that the camel had met is death at the hands of the family, who butchered it and prepared a camel stew. “While mature camel is almost inedible, the flesh from young animals is said to be tender,” notes the Telegraph.
This afternoon, local officials in Mali announced that they had made amends by replacing the dead camel with a larger, more attractive one. “The new camel will be sent to Paris. We are ashamed of what happened to the camel,” said one official. “It was a present that did not deserve this fate.”