Earlier this week, two people entered a museum in Paris, used some kind of gas to neutralize the guards, and made off with a rhino horn from one of the stuffed animals on display. This was the fourth such robbery in Europe this year, as thieves look to sell the valuable horns on the black market in Asia.
The incident took place on Tuesday at the Museum of Hunting and Nature in the Marais district of Paris. Around noon, the two individuals entered the building used what is described as “paralyzing” gas on the guards, and then proceed to remove the rhino horn from the display. When they had claimed their prize, they disappeared into the streets, and at this time, there are no leads in the case.
Rhino horns continue to be a hot commodity in Asia, where they are used in traditional medicines. Because of the demand there, a single horn can fetch as much as $100,000 on the open market, which has contributed to the rise in thefts from European museums this year. Worse yet however, is the continued poaching of the animals throughout Africa, resulting in the black rhino recently being declared extinct in West Africa.
I’m guessing these thieves don’t care about the source of their rhino horn and that stealing them from museums is just out of convenience. If they lived in Africa, they would probably be brutally slaying the animals there as well.
[Photo credit: Selber Fotografiert via WikiMedia]