A five-year-old Southern White Rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum simum, was shot at Zoo et parc de Thoiry, about 50 km to the west of Paris, on Tuesday 7 March 2017. The Rhino, called Vince, was shot three time in the head and had one of its two horns removed, suggesting that either the poachers were disturbed or they had problems with their equipment. Two other Rhinos in the same enclosure were unharmed.
The Rhino Vince, with his two companions, at Zoo et parc de Thiory, before his death. AP.
The Southern White Rhinoceros is considered to be Near Threatened under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, almost entirely on the basis of the threat presented by poachers. The closely related Northern White Rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum simum, is considered to be Critically Endangered for the same reason, with all species of Rhino affected to some extent, and two Rhino subspecies, the Western Black Rhino and Vietnamese Rhino, recently declared extinct.
Park authorities and private game reserves across Africa and Asia have been struggling with the problem of Rhino poaching for decades, but this is the first such attack in Europe, and has sparked widespread alarm, with one zoo, the Pairi Daiza Zoo near Brussels announcing plans to dehorn all its Rhinos as a precaution against such attacks.
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