Target: Michel Cadot, Agency Executive of the Paris Police Prefecture
Goal: Find the poachers who shot and killed a rhinoceros at a Paris-area wildlife preserve for its horn.
Rhinoceroses worldwide have been pushed to the brink of extinction through rampant poaching for their horns, which are believed to be aphrodisiacs in traditional Asian medicine. So far, this threat has mainly affected the dwindling wild populations of rhinos living in Africa and Asia. Now, in a chilling and bold act of cruelty, poachers have targeted and killed a young white rhinoceros in a wildlife preserve in the Paris-area community of Thoiry. The 4-year-old rhinoceros, named Vince, was shot three times in the head. His attackers then attempted to hack off his horn with a chainsaw, but were apparently unable to finish the job and fled before they could cause harm to the two remaining rhinoceroses who shared Vince’s enclosure. This chilling act has devastated preserve staff and keepers, especially those who worked closely with the 2.5 ton creature, who had lived at the preserve since early 2015.
This heinous act marks the first time that poachers have killed a rhinoceros in captivity in Europe, and may signal that the hunters are getting more desperate as wild rhinos grow rarer while demand for their horns remains high. A single horn can fetch hundreds of thousands in U.S. dollars on the international black market. White rhinoceroses are particularly vulnerable to poaching, due to their poor vision and generally placid demeanor.
We must ensure that captive rhinoceroses, and other wildlife, remain safe from the crosshairs of poachers. This innocent and endangered animal deserves justice. Please sign this petition to urge Parisian law enforcement to ensure these criminals are found and punished severely so that potential copycats will not attempt to go after other endangered animals.
Dear Mr. Cadot,
I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear about the brutal killing of a rhinoceros at the wildlife preserve in Thoiry. Rhinoceroses worldwide are in grave danger of extinction due to the threat of poaching. Captivity has long been regarded as the last safe refuge for these magnificent creatures, yet it would seem that even in zoos these animals are not safe.
The poachers who managed to disable zoo security systems and then proceeded to shoot and kill the young white rhino for his horn were as heartless as they were brazen in their attempt. We must not let their actions inspire potential copycats who might target other endangered animals.
In response to this heinous killing, I urge you to ensure that Parisian investigators and law enforcement are doing all that they can to apprehend those involved in this act of cruelty. The poachers must be brought to justice and be punished severely before they can strike again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Coralie