SERGE the Llama has become a celebrity after he was stolen from a circus in a drunken prank and taken on a tram.
Serge, age eight, was unhurt during the incident, but made no comment when BFMTV attempted an interview.
Five men were arrested shortly after they pushed the animal onto one of the Ligne B trams at Bassins in Bordeaux.
The driver stopped and the animal was tied up at the stop while Keolis, the tramway operators, called the circus to check if it belonged to them.
The men, who had recently left a nightclub, had opened the cage and walked off with the llama, allowing a zebra and several ponies to also escape their cages.
While the animals were rounded up, the men were arrested but subsequently released.
The circus initially announced it would take legal action, but this morning the director John Beautour said he was withdrawing the complaint as no harm had come to the animal.
“We’ve had more visitors than usual for the show,” he said, adding that he would like to meet the five men to “see the story end well”.
The incident rapidly led to the creation of a llama parody twitter account, and various
photoshops of Serge on tour around Bordeaux and his public transport travel card.
A parody Facebook support page ‘ Soutien aux 5 Bordelais qui ont promené "Serge" le lama dans un tramway’ (mimicking one set up for a Nice jewellery shop owner who shot and killed a robber) has already received 725,000 likes.
The singer Serge Lama has also looked kindly on the incident telling Le Parisen: “We’re so used to seeing things that aren’t funny that this makes a break with the general gloom.”
One of the kidnappers told Sud Ouest: “It wasn’t an act of animal liberation, or anything we planned. It was just done spur of the moment.”
He said they hadn’t seen the kidnapping as a theft, but admitted “we were reliving childhood”. “We love animals, we took him for a walk with us, like you take a nice dog,” he said.