Poachers have broken into a zoo near Paris and shot a rhinoceros dead before stealing his hugely valuable ivory horn.
In the first case of its kind ever in Europe, the five-year-old animal, named Vince, was found dead in Thoiry, west of the French capital.
According to police the zoo raid happened late last night, and it was not until 9am today that zookeepers made the horrifying discovery.
A source speaking to Le Parisien newspaper said “the animal had been shot with three bullets to the head, and his horn was cut off with a chainsaw”.
Poachers killed 1,054 South African rhinos for their horns in 2016, a 10 percent dip on a year earlier, the environment ministry said Monday, as officials struggle to quell the slaughter.