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article imageGrandmother saves grandson from being crushed by camel

By Johnny Summerton     Mar 24, 2010 in World
Thyez - When a child's life is thought to be in danger some people don't think twice about trying to protect them, no matter what the consequences might be.
Such was the case of a woman in France last weekend who saved her grandson from possibly being crushed by a camel belonging to a visiting circus.
Although the report that appeared in the regional newspaper, Le Dauphiné libéré, might have at first sight raised a smile in that it read along the lines of "Camel sits on grandmother", the injuries the woman sustained were far from being a laughing matter.
And perhaps it's a story that more accurately serves to show the prevailing instinct there is within all of us to protect the most vulnerable.
The incident happened in the French Alpine town of Thyez, which was playing host to a visiting circus.
And as is often the case here in France, when not performing, the animals were kept in an area where families could come during the day and see them up close.
That was exactly the treat the child's grandparents had in mind when they took him along to see the animals, among them a camel who they thought was correctly tethered and presented no danger.
"The three of us were walking along hand in hand about 15-20 metres away from the animals," the woman's husband told Le Dauphiné libéré.
"We thought that was a reasonable distance," he continued
But as things turned out they were mistaken.
Because the rope acting as a tether was longer than they had thought.
The little boy tripped just as the camel approached them and the woman, fearing that her grandson could end up being crushed, put herself between the advancing animal and the toddler to protect him.
That was when the camel stumbled and ended up sitting on the woman, who was still shielding her grandchild.
"She screamed at me to tell me that the child was underneath her and I just had enough time to pull him out," her husband said.
While the child survived the incident without a scratch, his grandmother wasn't so lucky and was taken to hospital with broken bones, fractured ribs and a dislocated hip.
A lucky escape for the grandchild and a painful end for the woman, but not a reason to lodge a formal complaint against the circus as far as her husband was concerned.
"It would only harm the reputation of all circuses," he said.
"That's not what I want and it would only mean that they would stop coming to towns such as ours and the children wouldn't be able to see the animals," he continued.
"But the animals certainly need to be kept on a shorter tether and temporary enclosures built so that there's no danger of them charging or breaking loose."
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