It was not all bad: Four positive French news stories

From a boy saving two people from drowning to a shelter for abandoned pet fish, here are some news stories that could bring a smile to your face

A round-up of this week's good news stories
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1. Boy, 12, dives into the Seine to save an adult and child

A 12-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he saved two people from drowning in the Seine River, it has emerged.

Mohamed Guimouar has been congratulated for saving a child and an adult who got into trouble while swimming in the river in Limay, Yvelines.

He told BFMTV: “I heard a child screaming, and I didn’t hesitate. I jumped straight in to try to save the child.”

After rescuing the child, the 12-year-old then carried the adult back to shore.

The mayor of Limay, Benjamin Lucas, said the boy had received a commendation from the city and the French parliament, as well as a “diploma” from the local fire department, which recognised his “act of bravery and devotion”.

Mohamed also received a voucher to buy new shoes to replace those damaged during the rescue.

In a post, the mayor wrote: “A big well done to you Mohamed, we are proud of you and your parents, and through this ceremony, [we recognise] all the heroes who live in our neighbourhoods who often don’t receive the recognition they deserve.”

2. Man opens shelter for abandoned pet fish

An 18-year-old from Alsace now has more than 500 ‘abandoned’ fish in his at-home ‘shelter’, after building a dedicated pond to rescue them.

Nathan Rencker, from Logelbach, near Colmar in Alsace, was upset by the number of pets that are abandoned in France every summer, which also includes pet fish.

Owners may struggle with the upkeep of the fish or may have abandoned them during a move or a holiday.

Nathan wanted to make sure that these abandoned aquatic creatures had somewhere safe to go, and during the Covid lockdowns, began advertising his pond at home as a place where owners could take fish instead of abandoning them.

He began to build a dedicated pond or ‘fish room’ in his house’s basement and also has a large pond in his garden. He now has several species of fish, three turtles and a newt.

He has now set up the Refuge à poissons et animaux exotiques association, and has launched a Leetchi crowdfund.

He said: "Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who see an aquarium as a decorative object and not as a habitat that needs to be adapted to the fish you put in it and the living creatures that are going to live there.”

3. NGO opens its first veterinary centre for sea animals in Brittany

The sea animal NGO Sea Shepherd France has announced it is to open its first animal care centre for sea animals, in Brittany.

The centre in Kernascléden (Morbihan) will span 16 hectares, and serve as a shelter for injured marine animals as well as for other species of wild animals.

Lamya Essemlali, at Sea Shepherd, said: “We’re just waiting for the prefecture to publish administrative documents [before we can open properly].”

4. Udderly good news: Normandy cow numbers on the rise

Normandy cow numbers are on the rise after local efforts have seen more than 8,000 new cows born in just a year.

The breed, which produces less milk than its classic black-and-white Dutch counterpart (the Prim'Holstein), had been under threat.

But this is now no longer the case after the region offered financial incentives to farmers to boost numbers of the breed.

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It was not all bad: Five positive French news stories

It was not all bad: Five good news stories from France