Swiss army 'steals' French water for thirsty cows

04:59 PM | 28 Jul, 2015
Swiss army 'steals' French water for thirsty cows
PARIS (Web Desk) - Rousses Swiss army helicopters, last week, crossed the French border to scoop up lake water to help thirsty cows, drawing criticism from French officials, the BBC reported.

The operation at the Rousses Lake in the Jura mountains caught French officials by surprise. They said the mission was not authorised.

Swiss media said the country's army had asked for permission from the French air force - not local authorities.

The water was needed to save the cows from dehydration during a heat wave.

Christophe Mathez, deputy mayor of France's Les Rousses commune, said local officials had "no idea this operation would occur", an American news agency reported.

However, Swiss military official Denis Froidevaux told the Swiss newspaper Le Matin: "As soon as they contacted us, we realised there was a communication problem and we immediately stopped."

epa04858282 A Super Puma helicopter of the Swiss Army is filling a water tank above lake de la Gruyere in front of represents of the army, police, civil defense, firefighters and a group of journaliste to refill the parched cattle watering tank on the Alps of Canton Fribourg in Morlon, Switzerland, 24, July 2015. Due to the heatwave and the subsequent drought, the cattle watering tanks are empty. The farmes get help by a Swiss Army helicopter to soak their livestock. The Swiss Army helps the Canton Fribourg to manage the consequences of the heat wave. The Swiss Army has started to build up water points to supply the cattle with water. EPA/DOMINIC STEINMANN

The Swiss air operation also startled local residents and tourists swimming in the lake, reports say.