Poachers Kill White Rhino At A French Zoo

WWF Worried By Rhino Poaching

Recently a rhino was shot dead by poachers at a French zoo in what is widely believed the first incident of its kind in Europe. Zoo keepers at Thiory came in to work one Tuesday morning to find Vince a four-year-old white rhino dead with one of his horns hacked off by a chainsaw according to police. The African rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine and as a result fetches high prices on the black market. There are about 100 rhinos killed each month in the wild as a result.

First time rhino killed at a European zoo

Whilst poaching in the wild is not a new phenomenon, the murder of Vince is thought to be the first-time poachers have turned their attention to a rhino housed at a European zoo. Vince was shot in the head three times, after the poachers had managed to enter the zoo premises overnight. They then hacked off Vince’s horn, a kilo of which could fetch as much as US$60,000 on the black market.

Other rhinos at the zoo unharmed

The poachers appear to have been spooked by something because the second horn which was partially hacked had been left behind. Thiory Zoo says its two-other white rhino’s a 37-year-old female named Gracie and a 5-year-old male named Bruno manage to escape what would have been a potential massacre. Bruno and Vince both arrived at Thiory Zoo in 2015. Vince was born at a zoo located in the Netherlands and was one of 250 rhinos living in European zoos that took part in a breeding programme.

Rhino conservation has been a success

Despite the shocking murder of Vince, the conservation of white rhinos has been a qualified success story. The species has been brought back from the brink of extinction in the late 19th century and now numbers around 20,000. That success should not result in complacency because over the last few years demand from countries such as Vietnam and China has increased because it is believed the rhino horn has aphrodisiac qualities. Last year France outlawed the trade in ivory and rhino horns.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

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