In yet another sign of how morally bankrupt people nowadays are, it seems that a gang of poachers broke into the Thoiry Zoo outside of Paris on Tuesday, killed one of the rhinoceroses there, and then sawed off its horn. The intent no doubt being to cash in on the financially lucrative blackmarket trade in the parts of endangered animals. (Notably, there are also quite a lot of endangered and rare animals that are kidnapped and sold as part of the “exotic pet trade” — because rich people need enslaved tigers and chimpanzees to show off how wealthy they are… Or something.)
To provide more information here — the white rhino in question was 4 years old and named “Vince” by the zookeepers, he was shot in the head 3 times, and the poachers only got away with the large horn, as the second horn was only partially cut through. It’s unclear if this is because the chainsaw being used stopped working, or because the attackers were startled by something and ended up leaving before finishing.
The attack is the first of its kind at a zoo in Europe, it should be noted.
Staff at the zoo have publicly stated that they are “extremely shocked.” A posting from the staff read: “This odious act was perpetrated despite the presence of 5 members of the zoological staff living on the spot and surveillance cameras.”
“The other two white rhinoceros living in Thoiry, Gracie aged 37 and Bruno aged 5 years, escaped the massacre and are safe.”
France’s environment minister, Segolene Royal, commented on the news: “The killing of a rhinoceros at Thoiry is criminal… It is time countries outlaw the trade in ivory and horn as I have done in France.”
As some further background here: the white rhino in question had been at the Thoiry zoo since March 2015, and had been born in late 2012 at the Burger Zoo in The Netherlands.
White rhinoceros are currently on a steep path heading towards extinction, owing to fast growing rates of poaching in the species home range.