Rhinos shot dead in French zoo

RhinocerosThis undated photo provided Tuesday March 7, 2017 by the Thoiry zoo shows the rhinoceros Vince, center, at the zoo, west of Paris. A zoo director says a five-year-old Rhinoceros living in the wildlife park he runs near Paris has been shot three times in the head by poachers who stole its ivory horn. (Domaine de Thoiry via AP)

Poachers have broken into a zoo in France, killed a white rhino and sawed off the animal’s horn, said French police.

Predators broke through the main entrance in Thoiry near Paris on Monday evening. They passed at least two other roadblocks and carried out the atrocity without being noticed by five employees staying in the zoo area.

The victim was a four-year-old endangered white rhinoceros named Vince. The male was shot three times in the head in a part of the park that houses at least two other rhinos, police said.

– Employees left rhinos enclosure on Monday and when they returned on Tuesday the beast was slain and its two horns had been sawn off, says a spokesperson for the police to AFP.

Probably the horns removed with a chainsaw, she adds. Zoo Thoiry says it is the first time that suspected poachers have killed a rhinoceros in a European zoo.

Predators are on the loose, and police are investigating the murder. The French zoo is equipped with surveillance cameras, but they do not cover rhino’s enclosure.

The other two rhinos who lived with Vince, 37 years old Gracie and 5 years old Bruno, emerged unscathed from the incident.

Wild rhinos killed often in Africa by poachers who sell the horns at high prices on the black market. Just last year 1,335 rhinos were killed illegally in Africa, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today