Not even safe in zoos: hippo, crocodile and rhino killed in vicious attacks in three zoos

There’s a sickening trend happening.

Over the last few days, criminals have broken into three zoos in three countries for the gory purpose of killing animals.

The first known attack was in El Salvador where a beloved hippo was killed two weeks ago. Then last week in Tunisia, in a particularly gruesome act of violence, a crocodile was stoned with concrete blocks

The most recent animal assault was in France yesterday when perpetrators broke into the Thoiry Zoo and killed one of its three white rhinos in order to steal its horns. Staff at the zoo in France as well as in Tunisia and El Salvador have reportedly been traumatized by the attacks.

At the Thoiry Zoo attack, intruders forced their way through the external grilles near the African Plains exhibit and went towards the buildings where the white rhinos are kept. They then forced the metal gate, broke through the interior door and gained access to the animals.

The killers then shot Vince, a young four-year-old male and cut off his horns probably with a chainsaw. The intruders were trying to saw off Vince’s second horn when they may have either been disturbed or their equipment broke.

The other two white rhino living in Thoiry, Gracie a 37-year-old rhino and five-year-old Bruno escaped the massacre and are safe and sound.

Vince was found this morning by his caregiver who was very attached to her animals and is now in shock, according to zoo officials who called the attack a “heinous act” that was carried out despite the presence of five members of the zoological staff living on site and surveillance cameras.

Rhinoceros Horns are the subject of an illegal trade because they are believed (erroneously!) to have medicinal properties.

In 2015 on the black market, 1 kg of rhinoceros horn was sold 51 000 euros. There are 5 species of rhinoceros and 11 sub-species, all threatened.

In El Salvador, police are continuing to investigate what was called a”cowardly and inhumane” attack at the National Zoological Park that killed a hippopotamus named Gustavito.

The 15-year-old hippo suffered “multiple blows on different parts of the body” from “blunt and sharp objects” in Wednesday’s attack, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.
 Vigil for #Gustavito in #ElSalvador
Crowd chants “Queremos justicia” (We want justice)pic.twitter.com/raD6yHmAMd
Me too#justiciaparagustavito

— Jonathan Sword (@jonathansword) February 28, 2017

The criminals who savagely beat a crocodile to death by stoning are also still being sought by authorities in Tunisia.

The incident happened on Tuesday at Belvedere Zoo in the capital Tunis, where, for no apparent reason, visitors threw rocks and paving slabs at the defenseless animal.

The municipality of Tunis decided to post the gory images (below) of the “brutal behavior”, adding that the crocodile died directly due to the attack causing an internal hemorrhage.

It’s terrible. You cannot imagine what the animals endure from some visitors. Citizens leave waste and plastic bags… They throw stones at lions and hippos,” Amor Ennaifer, a vet at the zoo, told AFP. “There are more than 150 species in the zoo. We can’t put a guard in front of each cage. People need to be aware of the need to respect animals.”

 

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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