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02 - A Refuge for Life
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02 - A Refuge for Life

Episode summary

Do animals have rights?  If you ask Christian Huchedé, the answer is a resounding yes.  An ardent defender of animal rights, he has dedicated his life to ‘Refuge de l’Arche’ (Ark Sanctuary), the animal shelter he founded to protect, treat and give a home to abandoned and abused animals. 



By the age of ten, Christian Huchedé was already an animal lover. He took in birds that had fallen from their nests, an owl, an injured heron and a fox cub that had lost a limb in a trap. In his parents’ house and yard, he set up a genuine animal infirmary, where he watched over his patients. One day, local youngsters found an injured cormorant in the marshes. Naturally, they brought it to Christian. That was 1968, and in that year, Christian and his friends decided to establish CEPAN, (Club d’études pour la protection des animaux et de la nature) to rescue animals that had been casualties of human activity.

Over time, a growing number of sick, injured or abandoned animals appeared in the family yard. Christian soon ran out of space, so in 1974, he officially opened the Refuge de l’Arche. Since its beginnings, the sanctuary has taken in thousands of animals, including tigers, bears, wolves and a variety of birds. The animals receive treatment, and when possible, they’re released back into the wild. A self-educated and passionate man, Christian Huchedé has always been an ardent believer in protecting animals and educating the public.

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