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Rhinoceros shot and killed for his horn at French wildlife park

Rhinoceros shot and killed for his horn at French wildlife park
Vince the rhinoceros, center, at the Thoiry Zoo west of Paris, in an undated photo. (Domaine de Thoiry / Associated Press)

A zoo director says a 5-year-old rhinoceros at the wildlife park he runs near Paris was fatally shot by poachers who then sawed off the animal's horn.

Thierry Duguet told the Associated Press that poachers broke into the Thoiry Zoo overnight and shot the rhino named Vince three times in the head, used a chain saw to remove his horn. Zookeepers discovered his carcass Tuesday in the rhinoceros' enclosure.

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Duguet says police are investigating and the suspects still are at large.

The Thoiry Zoo is famous for its safari park that can only be explored from inside a vehicle.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, a rhinoceros horn can be sold for up to 40,000 euros on the black market because of a strong demand linked to the belief that the horns have aphrodisiac powers.

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