Poachers break into Paris zoo, shoot rhino and saw off its horn

A four-year-old male rhinoceros was found dead on Tuesday morning at the Parc Zoologique de Thoiry; he had been shot three times in the head by poachers, and his horn had been chopped off. This is believed to be the first incident of poaching from a zoo animal in Europe. A press release on the zoo’s Facebook page described the disturbing and heartbreaking discovery:

“In the night of Monday, 6 March, to Tuesday, 7 March 2017 of the perps broke into in the field of Thoiry (50 miles west of Paris) despite the security measures put in place and killed one of the three white rhino in order to seize the One of his horns. The whole staff is extremely shocked. A survey of gendarmerie investigation in the early hours of the morning. The direction of the domaine de thoiry’s gonna file a complaint.” (translation)Rhino killed at paris zoo 2

The white rhinoceros, named Vince, is believed to have been attacked by at least two poachers in a protected clearing where two other rhinos lived. Vince’s second horn had been partially hacked away as if the criminals ran out of time and had to run away. Zoo personnel and authorities believe the poachers had intended to kill the other rhinos also –  Bruno, 5, and Gracie 37; both animals are said to be safe.

According to the website for the Thoiry Zoo, Vince came from the Netherlands where he was born in 2012. In 2015, Bruno and Vince arrived at the zoo. There are about 21,000 white rhinos in the world  living in the wild; mainly in South Africa and Uganda, but the species is hugely under threat from poaching, reports the Evening Standard. The white rhino is particularly vulnerable, because it is generally very passive in nature and has poor eye-sight.

Rhino horns are highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, where they are ground into a fine powder or turned into tablets to be used as a treatment for a variety of diseases; especially as a sexual enhancing potent. Local authorities state rhino horns can bring up to $41,000 on the black market.

The outrage on social media about the killing of Vince has gone viral. Such comments as:

Alexandre Lemerle wrote: “We’re in France but people can still kill rhinos for their horns…”

Jerome Leheutre posted: “New proof of human greed! A rhinoceros has been slaughtered and his horn severed at Thoiry zoo.”

Morgane L. wrote: “A bunch of a******s broke into Thoiry and killed a rhino to cut his horn off. I’m losing faith in humanity…..”

Rest in peace Vince. We do hope you get some justice. This kind of cruelty is unforgivable.

(Photos of Vince the rhino shot by poachers via the Thoiry Zoo Facebook page)

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11 replies
  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    So poachers have now entered enclosures to obtain illegal rhino horns – this is just another viable reason that ALL poachers should be shot on sight – no arrest – these animals apparently need armed guards to protect them. This is so disturbing.

    Reply
  2. Rev. Dr. Yvonne Ray says:

    These barbaric primitive heathen’s “medicine” doesn’t even work. But an innocent animal is killed for their Satanic stupidity.

    Reply
    • mike says:

      Asian countries are just as guilty as these poachers. Shame on them for continually having wildlife animals killed for ancient beliefs and yet pandas remain safe.

      Reply
  3. maxiemom says:

    Every single poacher deserves the death penalty no matter where they are nor who they are, or what reason they give for why they did it. Maybe then they’d think twice before they chose to kill animals like this rhinoceros who are endangered.

    Reply
  4. Kathleen Drude says:

    I’m very well acquainted with this zoo! This is a dispicable act! It had to have been arranged from within! This poor rhino never had a chance! To the things who committed this act run please make the chase worth the ending! I will be cutting things off too!

    Reply

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