Mali orders Hollande new camel after first gift is eaten

Francois Hollande received the now late camel when he visited Mali in February. Credit: Julien Tack/ABACAPRESS.COM

Malian officials have been forced to replace the gift of a camel to French President Francois Hollande for his help in confronting Islamist rebels after the first one was eaten.

Mr Hollande was awarded a camel during a visit to the former French colony in February, joking that he would use it back in Paris to escape congestion.

But he apparently learned from his defence minister that the family left to tend his animal in Timbuktu had, in fact, consumed it.

Embarrassed Malian officials quickly pledged to send "a bigger and better-looking camel" to the French capital.

"We are ashamed of what happened to the (first) camel," an official said. "It was a present that did not deserve this fate."