Christmas shopping can be a crashing boar
For French shoppers hunting for last-minute Christmas gifts, it was not so much a case of a bull in a china shop, but a boar in a clothes shop.
The stress of emergency present-buying got decidedly more stressful in the western town of Poitiers, when a wild boar broke into a clothing store over the weekend and went on the rampage, sending customers fleeing.
After shoppers and staff had been evacuated, police moved in to deal with the animal intruder. But when the 90-kg beast began to charge, the officers were forced to open fire, leaving the run-away boar riddled with at least 30 bullets. The shop re-opened two hours later.
Police believe the animal was one of a group of three spotted in the nearby countryside, but were at a loss to explain how it had managed to stray into the commercial zone or what had attracted it to the clothing store in particular.
However, the Poitiers beast was not alone in causing havoc in the run-up to Christmas. Passengers travelling from Nice to Brussels were delayed for almost four hours after their TGV train smashed into one of the animals that had strayed onto the tracks.
SNCF, the French state railway company, were forced to suspend all services on the busy line for almost an hour while an engineer checked for damage, causing delays for 34 more trains.