Rhino in French Zoo Shot Dead by Poachers for His Horn

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

A 4-year-old rhinoceros named Vince was shot and killed by poachers late Monday night. He was one of three white rhinoceroses at the Thoiry zoo, a wildlife park west of Paris. According to a Facebook statement, a caretaker at the zoo found him dead on Tuesday morning with gunshot wounds to his head. One of his horns had been sawed off with a chainsaw.

According to the statement, Vince’s second horn was partially cut, suggesting that the poachers unsuccessfully attempted to steal it as well.

The other two white rhinoceroses at the zoo, Gracie, 37, and Bruno, 5, “escaped the massacre” and are safe and sound.

Although no arrests have been made, the zoo reported that the French gendarmerie has launched an investigation.

The trade in ivory and horns was outlawed in France in August of last year. In a tweet Tuesday morning, Ségolène Royal—France’s minister of ecology—urged other countries to follow suit by banning the trade of horns.

Royal is correct: Efforts to protect these animals need to be made around the globe. Past initiatives have proved that international cooperation and uproar can reduce poaching of rhinos and the trade of their horns.

What You Can Do

Step number one: Speak out against the slaughter of rhinoceroses and the cruel horn trade. But why not take it a step further? If this story upsets you, it’s time to consider the barbaric injustices that millions of animals endure every day. Do your part to stop their suffering: Pledge to go vegan today.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind