Three men who hunted the hedgehog were arrested by the police in Tarbes last weekend. One of them was posting hedgehog cooking video tutorials on his Facebook page.
Further hedgehog predation was narrowly averted thanks to police vigilance last weekend. Warned by two reports received by the Tarbes police station via the platform for harmonization, analysis, cross-checking and orientation of reports (Pharos), the police learned that a man from the department was filming himself cooking hedgehog (protected species), and broadcast his very special cooking “classes” on his Facebook page.
Images that shocked some Internet users at the origin of the two reports. From then on, all the police officers at the Tarbes police station were made aware of the case. And it quickly paid off.
Curled up in a car
That same evening, police went on patrol in the Urac-Sendère district of Tarbes. Near a park, they spot three individuals squatting near a bush, visibly looking for something. But when the police officers approach, the individuals spot them and quickly move away. Never mind, the police track them and intercept them a few meters away, while the men have joined their vehicle and are preparing to leave.
As the police proceed to check them, a shape catches their eye through the rear window of the car: on the floor mat, a living and curled up hedgehog, previously captured.
Carrot peels for bait
Immediately arrested, men aged 22 to 33 are taken to the station. On them, several carrot peels are found, food appreciated by hedgehogs and used as bait by poachers. While in police custody, the two youngest explain that they did not know that hunting hedgehogs was illegal. Besides, they themselves do not eat it.
The third finds it difficult to deny the facts since the police will quickly realize that he is the “influencer” reported via the Pharos platform, and sought for his videos specializing in the culinary preparation of hedgehogs.
The animal released in situ
Asked about the capture of the hedgehog found in his car, the main interested party explains that he intended to consume it once grilled, as he does regularly. He too is not aware that this is prohibited, and he claims to have removed all his recipe videos.
Collected by the police, the hedgehog saved from certain death was released at the place where he had been captured. And for good reason, a hedgehog displaced from its natural environment can let itself die.
If the three men received only a simple reminder of the law, hunting the hedgehog is strictly prohibited in France. Killing the animal is an offense punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros.
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Hautes-Pyrénées: he cooked hedgehog and published his recipes on social networks
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