Letter from France: Life Along the Chimps Elysees

The French loved the magots because they were cute. Then the apes grew up

For the past five years, thousands of endangered baby monkeys have been smuggled from North Africa into France for families dying to own the chic pet of the moment. But as the Barbary monkey, which the French call magot, grows, so do its fangs, claws and temper. As a result, some of these simians, like other fads, have been abandoned--tied to trees in the park, left there for nature to take her course. Nature, however, like fashion, can take unexpected turns. Now the French are worried that their latest bout of petty cruelty may have a bestial denouement.

"It's like the...

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