Migrants trying to flee Calais shared a truck ride with a polar bear
www.mashable.com | October 14, 2015
LONDON — A handful of people who were trying to make their way to Britain from a refugee and migrant camp in Calais, France, found something unexpected when they opened the door of the truck they were stowing away in.
A polar bear named Nissan was being transported to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster from Moscow when migrants from the "Jungle" camp opened the back of a truck carrying it, according to a report in The Sun newspaper.
Workers from the wildlife park who were travelling behind the truck in a convoy spotted that three people had climbed inside with Nissan and alerted the driver. Luckily, they also captured the whole incident on camera.
The footage, posted by The Sun, shows the truck driver opening the door after the migrants were inside for 10 minutes. French police, who find the three migrants hiding out with the caged bear, then eject them.
"They must have had the surprise of their lives. It shows how desperate they are to get to Britain,”
"They must have had the surprise of their lives. It shows how desperate they are to get to Britain,” an onlooker told the paper.
It's estimated that some 5,000 people live in tents and huts in the camps that make up the Jungle near the Port of Calais, which connects northern France to the south of England. They are displaced from a number of countries including Syria, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
The 22-month-old bear, who is part of the European breeding programme, has since arrived at the wildlife park where he has joined two other bears.
"His transfer was almost a year in planning with strict welfare regulations in force throughout the trip, although no one could have planned for the moment his truck was briefly entered by a group of migrants at Calais before the Gendarmes restored order," Simon Marsh, animal manager at the park, said in a statement emailed to Mashable.
"Nissan was unfazed by the incident which occurred in slow moving traffic. Support staff did a quick check on Nissan, who remained comfortable, before the journey continued on schedule."