Last night, poachers broke into a French zoo, shot a rare white rhinoceros, and used a chainsaw to saw off its prized horn. Officials say it’s the first attack of its kind in a European zoo.
As reported in Reuters, the four-year-old male, named Vince, was found dead in his enclosure at the Thoiry Zoo just west of Paris earlier this morning. According to police, the rhino was shot three times in the head, and one of its horns was sawn off, likely with a chainsaw. The poachers broke through a gate during the night, and forced the metal door of the rhino’s enclosure.
Two other rhinos, a 37-year-old and a five-year-old, were unharmed during the break-in. Vince’s second horn was partially cut, suggesting the poachers were either disturbed or their equipment malfunctioned. Officials with the Thoiry Zoo said security measures were in place, including a surveillance camera and five staff members on site. Given that multiple shots were fired and a chainsaw was used to hack off the horn, it’s obvious that the zoo’s security measures are grossly insufficient.