Poachers broke into a French zoo where they killed a rhino and cut off his horn.
The five-year-old male named Vince was found with three bullets in his head and his horn removed with a chainsaw at the zoo in Thoiry, close to Paris on Tuesday morning.
According to Le Parisien, this is the first crime of its type on an animal in captivity in Europe.
It adds that rhino horns are popular aphrodisiacs in Asia.
Police told AFP only the animal’s main horn was stolen, estimating its market value at €30,000 to €40,000.
The dead animal was a white rhino, which WWF lists as having been brought back from the very brink of extinction.
The website adds: “But the current surge in poaching for their horns… has seen record numbers killed in recent years. Urgent efforts are now underway to stop the poaching and end the illegal trade.”
Last month a beloved hippopotamus at a zoo in El Salvador was beaten to death by a gang who attacked him with metal bars, knives and rocks.
Gustavito was left covered with bruises and puncture wounds and later died of his injuries.