PARIS, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — French President Francois Hollande has turned down an appeal lodged by the Lyon-based Pinder traveling circus which asked the French president , sick with tuberculosis, which might be put to sleep. Gilbert Edelstein, Chief of the Pinder circus administration, had asked the French president to grant "a presidential pardon" to the animals.
In reply, the Elysee Palace said that the circus administration had been offered an opportunity to appeal a resolution passed by a district court in southern France which ordered to put both elephants to sleep. The administration of the Elysee Palace made it clear that the president ought not to interfere with the work of the court.
The fate of the two elephants, Baby and Nepal, evoked a highly emotional response from the former actress, Brigitte Bardot, who declared she would leave France and seek asylum in Russia if the elephants were put to sleep. The former actress and animal rights activist, who was one of the best-known sex symbols, declared she would follow the example of Gerard Depardieu and ask for Russian citizenship.