Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Rhino Shot Dead in Paris Zoo

Poachers will do anything to obtain rhino horn that is more valuable than gold, including poaching captive zoo animals.  That is exactly what happened in Thoiry, southwest of Paris.  Zookeepers found Vince, a white rhinoceros [photo credit: Domaine de Thoiry] dead from a gunshot wound in his enclosure on Tuesday.  His large horn had been removed with a chain saw.  The poachers forced their way through a grill and two locked doors into his enclosure on Monday night. Vince's smaller horn was also partially cut which leads officials to conclude that his attackers did not have time to remove it.  Horn is valued at 30-40,000 Euros, and there is an established trade network between France and Asia. Two other rhinos, Gracie (37) and Bruno (5) were left unharmed.  Vince was a popular inmate at the Zoo, and his caretaker is extremely upset by the "barbaric" death of his charge.   As the number of wild rhinos continue to decrease, this type of desperate crime by professional criminals will be come more common.  There are only an estimated 21,000 white rhinos remaining, mostly in South Africa and Uganda.  Both countries are facing a plague of poaching atrocities.