Paris heads to Cannes zoo nightclub

CANNES: Paris Hilton flew in to Cannes overnight Saturday to Sunday and headed straight to one of the town's hottest nightclubs, locked in a dispute with animal rights activists incensed over the club's zoo.

For the duration of the glitzy Cannes festival, the VIP Room club has set up a small circus menagerie outside its guarded gates, including a lioness named Stella, coming in for biting criticism from France's Society for the Protection of Animals.

Heiress Hilton darted past the animals after arriving at 2 am, flanked by boy-friend Kelly Osbourne, actress Tara Reid and singer Robin Thicke -- and a dozen bodyguards.

The VIP Room told AFP this week that the animals were well-looked after and not bothered by loud music as they were kept outside. "Their keeper is looking after them and they are in a circular cage as big as a circus ring," said spokesman Laurent Guyot.

"Promoting the circus at a prestigious event like this is totally shameful," SPA president Virginie Pocq Saint-Jean told AFP.