Poachers break into Paris zoo and kill a rhino for its horn

Kristopher Drake
March 8, 2017

Poachers broke into a French zoo, shot dead a rare white rhinoceros and sawed off its horn in what is believed to be the first time in Europe that a rhino in captivity has been attacked and killed.

Staff at Thoiry Zoo, 35 miles west of the French capital, turned up at work on Tuesday to find the body of the four-year-old mammal in its enclosure.

Vince was shot three times in the head after they forced their way into the zoo overnight. "His second horn was only partially cut, which suggests that the criminals were disturbed or that their equipment proved defective".

Vince was brought to Thoiry in March 2015 from a zoo in the Netherlands where he was born in 2012.

Duguet says police are investigating and the suspects still are at large. "Thousands have been brutally slaughtered by poachers over recent years, to supply horn into illegal markets mainly in Vietnam and China". Some believe the horns serve as aphrodisiacs.

While the rhino's killing is shocking enough, the worst part is where it happened - a zoo.

The attack came despite security cameras and five zoo staff members living on the site, according to the paper.

After rebounding from the brink of extinction, there are more than 20,000 white rhinos now alive, mostly in wildlife preserves, according to the WWF.

Thoiry Zoo officials said that the killers may have been interrupted before they could steal the horns of Grace and Bruno, two other rhinoceroses living with Vince. In February, the World Wildlife Fund reported that 2016 marked the fourth year in a row in which more than 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone.

A lot of them live in South Africa, where there have been hundreds of rhinos killed in recent years.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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