Poachers: Zoo Rhino Killed in Its Enclosure in France, Horn Sawed Off

Poachers: Zoo Rhino Killed in Its Enclosure in France, Horn Sawed Off”

The suspects entered the Thoiry Zoo and shot the rhino named Vince, who was 5-years-old, three times in the head, the zoo's director Thierry Duguet told The Associated Press. "His second horn was only partially cut, which suggests that the criminals were disturbed or that their equipment proved defective".

It is not only the first time that a horn has been stolen in Europe, but also the first time that an animal has been slaughtered in a French zoo.

"Rhino horn simply does not have any magical or medicinal qualities and to think of these magnificent creatures being killed for their horns is utterly abhorrent", he added.

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According to French daily Le Parisien, one or more poachers forced open the back door of the zoo before breaking into the rhinoceros enclosure, all without waking up the five people who live on the grounds of the African Animal Park Reserve.

Rhino horn is used as an aphrodisiac in China and can fetch as much as €200,000 on the black market. And zoos may find themselves implementing other anti-poaching systems to fill any gaps in the animal-protection systems they already have, which include cameras, gates, and staff presence.

But there's been a major uptick in poaching.

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A lot of them live in South Africa, where there have been hundreds of rhinos killed in recent years. "They are particularly vulnerable to hunting, because they are relatively unaggressive".

The rhinoceros Vince, at the zoo, west of Paris on October 21, 2015. In the aftermath of the attack, Thoiry is warning other European zoos.

Zookeepers discovered his carcass Tuesday in the rhinoceros' enclosure. It's not easy to kill a rhino weighing several tonnes just like that.

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