Do you know this rabbit? You’ve probably seen him hundreds of times, but can you recognize him out of context? This is Serge, the RATP Mascot Rabbit for safety in the Paris Metro. You mostly see him down low – at kid’s height – on the insides of the doors reminding kiddos to keep their hands away so as to not be pinched.
The RATP Mascot Rabbit has been around since 1977 and was first drawn by Anne LeLagadec. She chose a rabbit dressed like a child because rabbits express fragility, softness and run around without paying attention to their surroundings (so she said).
In 1986 the safety rabbit was redrawn in a yellow jumpsuit to make him more visible and he became the unofficial mascot of the Paris metro. He even got a name: Serge, after Serge Maury who drew this second incarnation.
In 2014 a new version of Serge was unveiled. Fresh stickers of Serge, who is now wearing a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, were progressively affixed to the 24,000 metro (and RER) car doors. Now he warns not just of getting fingers pinched but also of hopping on board after the signal on the automatized trains. If you look carefully you’ll note that the metro doors in the background have also been modernized. His face too has changed and we can once again see his bunny tail!
The RATP Mascot Rabbit Serge makes an appearance in this 2018 RATP safety video as well.
Just for fun:
Photos of live animals in the subways around the world
The link to Serge’s Twitter account
Other Parisian animals