Poachers broke into the Thoiry Zoo in France and killed a white rhinoceros for its horn:

Keepers found the dead animal, named Vince, in the African enclosure of the zoo at Thoiry, west of Paris, on Tuesday morning. It had been shot in the head and its large horn removed with a chainsaw.

The poachers fled before they could remove the animal’s second horn, either because they were disturbed or because their equipment failed, police said.

Authorities described the incident as the first of its kind in Europe.

The poachers forced a grill at the rear entrance to the zoo, near the rhinoceros enclosure. They then broke through two further locked doors into the building containing three white rhino on Monday night.

“It’s possible the thieves didn’t have time to take the others,” a police spokesman said.

Park director Thierry Duguet said the attack was “unbelievable” and that Vince had been one of the most popular attractions at the zoo.

“It’s extremely shocking,” Duguet told 20 Minutes newspaper. “An act of such extreme violence has never happened before in Europe.”