Friday, June 1, 2007

Edmonton zoo appeals for French speakers to soothe Siberian Tiger named Boris

Edmonton's Valley Zoo is inviting the public to say "bonjour" to its newest Siberian tiger. Staff at the zoo have discovered that while Boris, a seven-year-old male cat, has lived at the zoo for about a year, French remains his language of choice. When the Quebec-born tiger arrived in May 2006, staff found him unresponsive to the English commands of staff. Ginette Heppelle, a French-speaking zookeeper from Saskatchewan, was then asked to try a few lines in French. "I said, 'Bonjour, Boris,' " said Heppelle, 29, who started work at the zoo around the same time Boris arrived. "I started to speak to him in French and he got up and came to see me."

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