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Judgement in January in circus hippo case

A court will rule in January over a case of alleged maltreatment of a hippo by a French circus.

Circus owner Edmond Muller appeared in court in Valence on Friday with son Alexandre, accused of a criminal offence of maltreatment due to allegedly keeping their hippo in unsuitable conditions in their travelling circus. 

Animal rights activists from the One Voice association had reported the circus after it said it monitored the conditions the hippo was kept in over a two-year period.

The prosecution on Friday called for confiscation of the animal and a three-month suspended sentence for Edmond Muller and three months without suspension for Alexandre, as well as €1,500 fines for both men.

The men admitted to certain failings in the living conditions for the hippo due to technical problems, such as having to repair the hippo’s pool due to a leak, or the water heating mechanism breaking down.

The court postponed its decision to January 17.

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