Poachers Kill White Rhino & Saw Off His Horn

This is so notOK.

Poachers Kill White Rhino & Saw Off His Horn

Hunter Stuart

A white rhino at Park Zoologique de Thoirry. | Thoiry.net

This is so not OK.

In Vietnam, where people believe that the dust from ground rhinoceros horns can cure cancer and hangovers, a single horn can fetch up to $300,000 on the black market.

It’s that kind of demand that almost certainly motivated poachers to fatally shoot a 4-year-old rhino at the Parc Zoologique de Thoiry, west of Paris, and to saw off one of his horns on Monday night.

Vince, a white rhino, was found dead by one of his caretakers on Tuesday morning with a bullet wound to the head, the New York Times reports. Zoo directors told the Times one or more poachers had “probably” used a chainsaw to remove Vince’s horn.

Park director Thierry Duguet told The Guardian that Vince was one of the zoo’s most popular attractions. Vince lived with two other white rhinos, Gracie, 37, and Bruno, 5, who were not harmed.

The belief in many south Asian nations that rhino horns can cure conditions like rheumatism has led to heavy poaching of rhinos in Africa and elsewhere. In 2013, criminals in South Africa — which has more rhinos than any other country — killed a record 1,004 rhinos.

Brutality at zoos has been in the news a lot lately. On Feb. 28, news outlets all over the world (including Dose) reported that criminals broke into a zoo in El Salvador and fatally beat a 15-year-old hippo named Gustavito. Medical officials who later performed an autopsy, however, said Gustavito had likely not been beaten but died as a result of poor care.

Gustavito in better times. | Uinterview.com

If you’re feeling depressed now, here’s a statistic that might provide a bit of hope: After a public awareness campaign in Vietnam from 2013 to 2014, demand for rhino horns there fell by 38%.