Poachers kill rhino for his horn during French zoo

This undated print supposing by a Thoiry zoo shows a rhinoceros Vince, center, during a zoo, west of Paris.Image copyright

Image caption

Vince (pictured) was shot 3 times in a head

A rhino has been shot passed by poachers during a zoo in France in what is believed to be a initial such occurrence in Europe.

Keepers found Vince, a four-year-old white rhino, in his enclosing during Thoiry Zoo on Tuesday morning.

One of his horns had been hacked off with a chainsaw, military said.

The African rhino’s horn commands high prices on a black market, with about 100 killed each month in a wild.

However, this is suspicion to be a initial time poachers have targeted a rhino vital in a European zoo.

Vince was shot 3 times in a conduct after poachers forced their approach into a zoo overnight. They afterwards took a horn – a kilo of that could fetch as most as $60,000 (£49,300).

But a poachers seem to have been uneasy as his second – partially sawn – horn was left behind.

Media captionRhinos are killed for their horns as David Shukman reports

The zoo’s dual other white rhinos, 37-year-old Gracie and five-year-old Bruno, “escaped a massacre”, a Thoiry Zoo revealed.

Bruno and Vince arrived during a zoo together in 2015. Vince, who was innate in a zoo in a Netherlands, was one of 250 rhinos in European zoos who were partial of a tact programme.

The white rhino is a charge success, carrying been brought from a corner of annihilation in a late 19th Century to a race of about 20,000 animals.

However, poaching has risen over a past few years, as direct from markets like Vietnam – where rhino horn is suspicion to have aphrodisiac properties – increases.

France outlawed a trade in ivory and horns final year.