Now Paris... Rhino shot dead by poachers at French zoo

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Odinsraven, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Enthusiast

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    www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/07/rhino-shot-dead-by-poachers-at-french-zoo

    Legalise the trade FFS


    Rhino shot dead by poachers at French zoo

    Poachers have broken into a French zoo, killing a four-year-old white rhinoceros and sawing off its horn.

    Keepers found the dead animal, named Vince, in the African enclosure of the zoo at Thoiry, west of Paris, on Tuesday morning. It had been shot in the head and its large horn removed with a chainsaw.

    The poachers fled before they could remove the animal’s second horn, either because they were disturbed or because their equipment failed, police said.

    Authorities described the incident as the first of its kind in Europe.

    The poachers forced a grill at the rear entrance to the zoo, near the rhinoceros enclosure. They then broke through two further locked doors into the building containing three white rhino on Monday night.

    “It’s possible the thieves didn’t have time to take the others,” a police spokesman said.

    Park director Thierry Duguet said the attack was “unbelievable” and that Vince had been one of the most popular attractions at the zoo.

    “It’s extremely shocking,” Duguet told 20 Minutes newspaper. “An act of such extreme violence has never happened before in Europe.”

    Vince, born at Burgers’ zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands at the end of 2012, arrived at Thoiry zoo in March 2015. The zoo said he belonged to a subspecies of southern white rhinoceros that is “extremely threatened”.

    The zoo announced the news on its Facebook page. It said the two other rhinos in the enclosure, Gracie, 37, and Bruno, five, had “escaped the massacre” and were unharmed.

    “Vince was found this morning by the keeper who was very attached to him and is deeply upset. This odious act was carried out even though there were five staff members living on site and security cameras.”

    It said the animal’s second horn had been partially cut “leaving us to think the criminals were disturbed or their equipment failed”.

    Friends of the zoo on the social network site expressed shock and anger at what they called a “barbaric act”.

    A rhinoceros horn has an estimated value of between €30,000 and €40,000. Detectives say there is an established trade network in illegally poached horn between France and Asia.

    “The theft of rhinoceros horns are rising across Europe, but it’s the first time an animal park has suffered an attack leading to the death of a rhinoceros,” the zoo said.

    “We are grieving. It’s a terrible shock,” Paul de La Panouse, former historic director of the African enclosure at Thoiry zoo told French journalists.

    “Animal parks throughout Europe have been put on alert to look out... to get into these places they have to climb 3.5 metre fences, go through padlocked doors. It’s not easy to kill a rhino weighing several tonnes just like that. It’s a job for professionals.”

    The white rhino is an endangered species, with an estimated 21,000 remaining in the wild across the world, mainly in South Africa and Uganda. Their horns are sought after in Asia, where they are valued for their supposed aphrodisiac qualities.

    In Zimbabwe last autumn, the authorities announced they would remove the horns of 700 adult rhinoceros to dissuade attacks from poachers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2017
  2. PeteG

    PeteG AH Fanatic

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    That's brazen and sounds dodgy! Did none of the security cameras pick up the poachers? No audible alarms from the access points? Hmm... time to speculate and break out the popcorn.
     
  3. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

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    I feel for the loss of the rhino, but "extreme violence" and "massacre?"

    Come on! Those words should be used with regards to crimes against humanity. Let's not paint animals as humans.

    If you want a massacre, throw the unarmed poachers in a wolf's den. That's one I'd be happy to support.
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    One more costly lesson.
    That failure in security is the "unbelieveable" part of the story.
     
  5. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Actually, Wayne, I think the failure of cITES and its policies is the "unbelievable" (for some) part of the story.

    Banning things that people want rarely works. Didn't work with alcohol in North America, isn't working in the "war on drugs", isn't working for elephant and rhinos.

    The saddest part of all of this is that a rhino horn is just another animal part, and one that can be removed without hurting the animal! Why is it that someone wearing alligator shoes, eating a prime porterhouse steak, can pay for it out of his ostrich skin wallet, all the while saying how crazy these Asians are to want rhino horn? The demand is not going away. Let's meet the demand legally and humanely. Let's actually preserve rhinos instead of losing them like this.

    But I guess logic and experience doesn't get you very far when you're dealing with certain people.
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I agree. If it's broken, fix it! The situation sure needs some bloody fixing if pet Rhino's are being "poached"
    in Europe.
     
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  7. sierraone

    sierraone SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Agree with Peter G. There is B/S going on here that we are not privy to!!! 10 ft fence, two locked gates and 5 people living on the premises?
     
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  8. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    As in Africa.........it's an I side job!
     
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  9. Brent in Az

    Brent in Az AH Elite

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    What's the world coming to, when poachers are killing Zoo animals.?
     
  10. BWH

    BWH AH Elite

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    Yes, really sad. However, maybe this will shed light & open eyes, that it is NOT hunters that are the problem..... but poachers!!!!
     
  11. spike.t

    spike.t SPONSOR AH Ambassador

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    probably run out of museum exhibits to steal

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/aug/08/rhino-horn-thefts-chinese-medicine

    Epidemic of UK rhino horn thefts linked to one criminal gang

    Rhino horns stolen from museums fetch twice the value of gold on the Chinese medicine market

    Rosie the rhinoceros took her last breath somewhere on the Indian subcontinent early last century. She was shot, skinned, stuffed and shipped to London. Then, in 1907, she was acquired by Ipswich Museum, which swapped her with the Natural History Museum for a pig. For more than a century, in Ipswich, she has suffered the pats of generations of school children, her horn curling to the ceiling.

    Last month, however, Rosie suffered the second violation of her ignominious afterlife, almost as cruel as the first.

    At 12.27am on Thursday 28 July, two men forced their way through a fire escape at the rear of the museum and made straight for the rhinoceros, where they swiftly wrenched off her 45cm (18-inch) horn. They paused only to collect the skull of a second black rhino, displayed on a ledge above its stuffed cousin, before fleeing in a silver saloon car. Nothing else was stolen.

    One might think that only a foolish criminal would bypass the lavish gold burial masks of Titos Flavios Demetrios upstairs in the Egyptian gallery, or even the priceless Hawaiian cape made from feathers of the 'o'o bird, in favour of some century-old rhino remains. In fact, police believe these were very canny criminals indeed.

    The Ipswich rhinoceros-horn theft is merely the latest from museums and auction houses across Britain and Europe, driven by soaring prices for horn in the far east. According to Europol, many of them are conducted by an Irish crime gang more accustomed to drug trafficking, money laundering and smuggling.

    In February, the stuffed and mounted head of a black rhino was taken from Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. On 27 May, a similar head was taken from the Educational Museum in Haslemere, Surrey, which has one of the largest natural history collections in the UK. Last month it was the turn of a museum in Liège, Belgium; three weeks later the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences in Brussels suffered a similar heist, in which the head of a black rhino, dating from 1827, was stolen.

    According to the Metropolitan police, 20 thefts have taken place across Europe in the past six months – in Portugal, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Sweden as well as the UK. Scotland Yard and Europol are now advising galleries and collectors to consider locking up their rhino horn collections or keeping them away from public view. Several institutions, including the Natural History Museum and the Horniman Museum in south London, have removed their displays or replaced horns with replicas.

    Behind the crime wave is a surge in demand from the far east and European Asian communities for powdered rhino horn, which is used in traditional Chinese medicines. It is valued as a remedy for everything from fevers and headaches to cancer, and demand is so intense it has pushed the value of horn to £60,000 per kilogram – twice the value of gold. Sworders had valued their rhino head, as an artefact, at £50,000; in the medicinal market, however, it could be worth £200,000.

    "It is a new crime phenomenon targeting people who may not have ordinarily been victims of crime and who are vulnerable victims," said Patric Byrne, Europol's head of unit for organised crime networks. "And we are not dealing with petty criminals." The gang "of Irish ethnic origin", which the agency has identified as being responsible for many of the attacks, has a background in violence, drug trafficking and intimidation, he said. "There is a strange and very lucrative market in Chinese medicine. They have found that this product attracts a particular premium in some Asian communities."

    Detective Constable Ian Lawson, from the Metropolitan police's art and antiques unit, said the gang used a variety of methods to steal the objects, from carefully planned burglaries to "smash and grab" raids, and police had also been alerted to "hostile reconnaissance" from gang members.

    Even more worrying is an associated growth in the poaching of live rhinos, according to conservation experts. "In the last three years, 800 African rhinos have been killed and experts agree that we are facing the worst rhino-poaching crisis in decades," said Lucy Boddam-Whetham, the acting director of Save the Rhino International.

    Nearly 200 rhinos were killed in South Africa in the first six months of this year, compared with 125 in the same period last year. The organisation says the museum thefts are stimulating the live-rhino poaching, making their situation even more perilous. There are only 20,000 white rhinos and fewer than 5,000 black rhinos in the wild.

    Police tape has been removed from around Rosie at Ipswich Museum, replaced by an apologetic laminated note explaining the missing horn. "People love this museum. It's just so sad," said Bryony Rudkin, the councillor who holds the portfolio for museums and culture at Ipswich borough council. "On the morning after it happened, we had a family come in – a grandmother, mother and child – and the grandmother said, 'I remember coming when I was a child. It's really sad, because everyone in Ipswich knows who she is.'"

    "It's a bit selfish to just take the horn," said Miriam Kendall, 10, from Dennington, visiting with her father and younger brother. Tristan, six, thought the thieves were "stupid".

    At least there is some good news for Rosie. As a result of the robbery, she is to be the focus of a panel on a new civic mural to be mounted on the town's waterfront, where she will appear not in her mutilated state but with her dignity, and horn, restored. The museum is, meanwhile, making her a replica horn, which will be screwed, very firmly, into the nose of the long-dead beast.


    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22200051

    Rhino heads and horns worth £428,000 stolen from Irish museum

    A gang of thieves have stolen rhino heads and horns worth up to half a million euros (£428,000) from an Irish museum.

    Three masked men entered the National Museum Archives building in Dublin at about 22:40 BST on Wednesday and tied up a security guard.

    The gang loaded the four heads, with eight horns, into a large white van.

    The security guard, who was not injured, managed to free himself and raise the alarm shortly after midnight.

    A police spokesman said the building on Balheary Road, Swords, has been sealed off for forensic examination.

    'Smash and grab'
    An incident room has also been set up at Swords Garda (police) station and officers have appealed for information about the theft.

    Nigel Monaghan, keeper of the museum's natural history division, said staff had taken the decision to remove its rhino horn collection from public display in 2011, following a spate of "smash and grab" thefts from museums across Europe.

    The artefacts had been placed in the museum's storage facility in Swords for safe keeping when the thieves struck.

    A statement issued on behalf of the museum said: "The stolen rhinoceros heads have a total of eight horns that have probably been taken to supply the illegal trade in powdered horn that is used in traditional medicines in the Far East.

    Poaching
    "Their price is based on weight and the total amount stolen could have a street value in the region of 500,000 euros."

    The statement added that several species of rhino have been "brought to the edge of extinction" due to poaching in the wild, so in recent years thieves have begun to target museum and private collections.

    The National Museum of Ireland has exhibition centres spread across four locations. Three are in Dublin and the fourth is in County Mayo.

    Its natural history collection is housed on Merrion Street in Dublin city centre, close to the Irish parliament.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2017
  12. jand

    jand AH Veteran

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    This is bound to happen more and more. We should not be surprised by it really. It is extremely sad for the Rhino species though , as the one thing that can effectively curtail the poaching will never happen : end user market suppression. Our anti poaching ground units are fighting a hard war for a noble cause , but with a seemingly insatiable healthy end user market these teams are merely cutting grass. Very sad indeed.
     
  13. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    Guess my question is: Where are all the "Cecil the lion" whiners and cry babies on this? Why aren't the "outraged"? (It's a rhetorical question........:rolleyes:)
     
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  14. NickyMaz

    NickyMaz AH Senior Member

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    I was going to say I noticed far less outrage over this that 'that' lion. Isn't it odd how that can be? Apparently it's much more outrageous for a hunter to pay tens of thousands of dollars to legally kill a lion than for a gang of poachers to kill a captive rhino in a zoo for the sole purpose of selling its horn on the black market.
     
  15. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Enthusiast

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    I thought France had strict gun laws? I also think it's an inside job. I think it should be legal to hunt poachers.
     
  16. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Enthusiast

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    If they had the name of a rich white dentist or doctor that had paid for the poachers to get the horn, then they would be all up in arms because that is a story they can sensationalize, complete with a person to demonize. This currently lacks that marketability.
     
  17. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Enthusiast

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    You two gents are spot on with your post. That shows how devoted these so called "animal right activist" are. Bunch of *&$#ing hypocrites.
     
  18. AlphaHunter

    AlphaHunter AH Member

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    Maybe now South African game farmers start receiving more international help on their fight against rhino poaching...
    Who knows...
    They're doing the impossible fighting against heavily armed and well organised poachers...
    Maybe now they'll receive the miracle they deserve.
     
  19. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Enthusiast

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    I doubt it. The leftie/greenie/anti crowd cannot bring themselves to ally themselves with somebody who isn't an ideological soul mate to them. They would likely oppose their own side's ideas if the first place they heard them was from the mouth of a hunter or Republican.

    The money from the left to protect animals from poachers would come with strings that prohibit hunters and the hunter dollars are generally much higher than what you are going to get from the left.
     
  20. AlphaHunter

    AlphaHunter AH Member

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    Anti poaching teams, put their life at risk daily. Hunting rifles against heavily armed poachers most of the time with AK47s, R1s, FN-FALs, etc. They deserve all my respect. Most of them are volunteers that pay for their own equipment. They don't have any support for the great job they are doing.
     

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