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French President's Gift Camel Killed And Eaten In Timbuktu

Apr 09, 2013 04:36 PM EDT

A camel that was gifted to French President François Hollande for his efforts in liberating Mali has been killed, cooked and eaten in a stew, according to a report by The Telegraph.

A local official in the former French West African colony had given the young, two-humped camel as gratitude for spearheading a drive to rid Mali of Islamic extremists.

Hollande reportedly wanted to have the camel vaccinated and transferred to a French zoo, but due to procedural complexities and "the rigours of the harsh French climate for a desert animal," it was decided to leave the animal in the care of a family in Timbuktu.

According to the French defense minister, the family apparently "wasted no time slaughtering the animal and putting it in a traditional tagine."

Young camel meat is reportedly quite tender, while older camel's meat is does not make for a good meal.

According to the Guardian, when Mali officials learned of the incident they said they would get the French president a new camel.

"As soon as we heard of this, we quickly replaced it with a bigger and better-looking camel," said the official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

"The new camel will be sent to Paris. We are ashamed of what happened to the camel. It was a present that did not deserve this fate."

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