France's Bardot threatens exile over elephants

Former French film star and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot addresses a press conference at the Marigny theater, in Paris, on the 20th anniversary of her foundation for animal rights, The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, Thursday Sept. 28, 2006. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

January 4, 2013 7:50:01 AM PST
Sex symbol-turned-animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot is threatening to join actor Gerard Depardieu in Russian exile unless France halts the scheduled euthanasia of two sick circus elephants.

The 1960s screen diva says authorities have ignored her "numerous proposals" to save Baby and Nepal, a pair of 42-year-old elephants dying of tuberculosis at a Lyon zoo.

In a statement on her foundation's website Bardot says that if the elephants are killed she will request Russian citizenship "to flee this country that is now just a graveyard for animals."

This week France was shocked to learn Depardieu, an Academy Award-winner and pillar of French cinema, had received Russian citizenship after he was called "pathetic" by France's prime minister in a bust-up over the country's proposed 75 percent income tax for the superrich.