France’s Former President Was Almost Assassinated by a Panda. No, Really.

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panda

Presidential assassinations are tragic historical fascinations. The reasons men and women concoct to actually take the life of a high-ranking human being are always endlessly enthralling, even if they were just “bat s#*$ crazy” (Fun fact: That’s the clinical diagnosis for the guy who tried to shoot Ronald Reagan).

Even France, a nation that suffers from the constant stereotype their military leaders have a white handkerchief in a holster, has had a bizarre and sordid history of leaders slain or assaulted by an assassin’s will to see them dead. One, however, definitely will stand out in the annals of history (Fun fact: “Annals” is not pronounced as “anals.”)

The BBC reported France almost lost one of its former presidents, thanks to a panda.

Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the French president from 1974 to 1981, was visiting his daughter at the zoo while she was working when he made one of the dumbest presidential decisions since Bill Clinton thought no one would notice if he “de-briefed” with one of the White House interns. He tried to test his “presidential courage” by actually entering a panda enclosure and facing down the mighty black and white bear. Pandas are vegetarians, but they’re also bears and can be quite ferocious and dangerous if they are cornered or threatened. The bear pounced and managed to snag the president in its claws, but zookeepers were able to get the panda off of him before he could do any real damage. Either way, it would have been the saddest, cutest assassination since the last “dog shoots hunter” incident.

Via Gawker/Photo Credit: Chris Wattie, Reuters/The Globe and Mail

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