Vince, a 4-year-old male who lived at the Parc Zoologique de Thoiry, was found dead Tuesday morning in his enclosure that he shared with two other rhinos.
One or more poachers reportedly broke into the enclosure overnight where three rhinos were housed, Le Parisien reported. Poachers chopped off his horn, but his second horn was left on as the poachers were apparently disturbed.
Rhinoceros horns are worth on average between 30,000 and 50,000 euros - worth more than their weight in gold.
"It's extremely shocking", Duguet said, according to The Guardian. It appears the poachers also tried to cut off the endangered rhino's secondary horn but they did not succeed.
They said: "It is possible that the thieves did not have time to attack other animals".
"This heinous act was carried out despite the presence of five members of the zoological staff living on site and surveillance cameras". A kilogram of rhino horn sold on the black market for almost $54,000 in 2015, according to the zoo.
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The animal is behind the very popular African Animal Park Reserve.
He added: "It's not easy to kill a rhino weighing several tonnes just like that".
Vince was born at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands in 2012, and was transferred to the Thoiry Zoo in March 2015.
BTW, if you ever come across someone who still believes in the power of rhino horns, you can tell them that chemically, it's almost indistinguishable from your fingernail clippings.
"The continued assault on Africa's rhinos year after year shows the need to redouble efforts across the rhino horn trade chain", Ginette Hemley, WWF's senior vice president of wildlife conservation, said in a statement.