‘Screams for help’ in French town actually a cockerel

The call to the gendarmerie revealed the source of the noise to be far less sinister...

A French resident in Indre-et-Loire called the gendarmerie at dawn this week after hearing “screams for help”...but the noise was in fact the crowing of a nearby cockerel.

The resident of Saint-Branchs, a 2,500-inhabitant commune south of Tours, called the emergency services on the 17 number at 6h yesterday (Thursday August 1), after becoming convinced they could hear someone shouting for help.

Yet, careful listening by the gendarmerie call centre operator - who asked the caller to go to the window and be quiet - revealed the noise to be the morning calls of a cockerel, who was safely cooped up in the yard of a nearby house.

The gendarmerie posted about the incident on their Facebook page - not without humour - but did accept that the caller had acted in good faith, and did the right thing, as they genuinely believed that someone may have been in need of help.

The post concluded: “All the charm of countryside life, and no need for any intervention this time.”

The incident comes just weeks after the noisy cockerels Maurice and Coco made headlines in France, after reports, petitions, and court cases were fought over allegations that the birds’ crowing was disturbing their neighbours and disrupting locals’ sleep.

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