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.
Poachers kill rhino for his horn at French zoo https://t.co/PufV7HwAUO
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 7, 2017
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.
Abattage criminel d'un rhinocéros à #Thoiry. Il est temps que les pays interdisent commerce #ivoire et cornes comme je l'ai fait en France pic.twitter.com/K63HiaLrEB
— Ségolène Royal (@RoyalSegolene) March 7, 2017
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.