Rhino shot dead and mutilated by poachers in zoo near Paris

Mar 08, 2017, 00:40
Rhino shot dead and mutilated by poachers in zoo near Paris

Staff at Thoiry Zoo, 35 miles west of the French capital, turned up at work on Tuesday to find the body of the four-year-old mammal in its enclosure.

The IUCN said the total white rhinoceros population was between 19,500 and 21,500 and the species was considered "near threatened". He came to Paris in 2015 with one of the zoo's other rhinos. The poachers likely used a chainsaw to cut off one of the horns, according to a statement from the zoo, which is almost 40 miles west of Paris.

"It is extremely shocking what just happened", zoo director Thierry Duguet told France's 20 Minutes newspaper.

The zoo said their other white rhinos, 37-year-old Gracie and five-year-old Bruno (pictured above) escaped what they described as a "massacre".

Thoiry Zoo officials said that the killers may have been interrupted before they could steal the horns of Grace and Bruno, two other rhinoceroses living with Vince.

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"Vince was found this morning by the keeper who was very attached to him and is deeply upset". It is thought that a poacher is behind the attack, as rhino's ivory horns are in high demand on the black market.

Rhinos the world over are poached in huge numbers, particularly by those after their lucrative horns, which are used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Majority live in South Africa, where there have been hundreds of rhinos killed in recent years.

Zookeepers discovered his carcass Tuesday in the rhinoceros' enclosure.

"The continued assault on Africa's rhinos year after year shows the need to redouble efforts across the rhino horn trade chain", Ginette Hemley, WWF's senior vice president of wildlife conservation, said in a statement.

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