Mélina Facchin (in Strasbourg), edited by Solène Leroux
12:44 p.m., April 18, 2022
The mascot of the Easter market in Colmar, in the Haut-Rhin, was kidnapped overnight from Friday to Saturday. It is a giant rabbit from Flanders weighing 8.5 kilos. The couple of thieves were filmed by the city’s CCTV cameras and the mayor of Colmar calls on them to return the animal.
Schmoutzi is a giant rabbit from Flanders weighing 8.5 kilos. He was this year the mascot of the Easter market in the city of Colmar, in the Haut-Rhin, which opened on April 8 and will close on May 1. But to everyone’s surprise, he was kidnapped overnight from Friday to Saturday. Two people were filmed by CCTV cameras and are in the process of being authenticated. This competition animal has very little chance of surviving outside its breeding.
“In the wild, its chances of survival are extremely low”
Éric Straumann, the mayor of the city is concerned about the disappearance of Schmoutzi, which means “kiss” in Alsatian: “Unfortunately, it was stolen during the night from Friday to Saturday at 1:30 a.m. by a couple who were filmed by our CCTV system,” he said. The city councilor is worried about the fate of this beast of competition: “It requires special care, in particular special food”, he explains. “If this type of rabbit is released into the wild, its chances of survival are extremely low.”
The mayor assures “that he will be indulgent”
We do not know the motivation of this couple, whose images are still being authenticated. “Is it about protecting animals?” asks Éric Straumann. “If so, I remind you that it is a barnyard animal that was not even in a cage, but in an enclosure”, he calls out.
Éric Straumann hopes that the two thieves will hear his call and assures that he will be lenient: “I invite them to get in touch with me, that they make a phone call to the town hall. We will arrange at the friendly,” he promises. “We will even show them the rabbit farm: they will see how these animals grow and how man protects them”, he wants to be reassuring.