When you think of the word “heist,” the word “diamond” may come to mind; after all there have been plenty of diamond heists in history. You may also think about heists of famous works of art — perhaps the 1911 heist of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre comes to mind — but earlier this week, it was a rhino horn that was stolen out of another museum in Paris.
According to Gadling and BBC News, two thieves armed with paralyzing gas, walked into the Museum of Hunting and Nature in Paris’ Marais district, neutralized the guards, and walked away with a highly-valued commodity: a rhinoceros horn — which is worth more than gold on the black market. (Just a kilogram of rhino horn goes for $60,000.)
At those prices, it’s no wonder the species has come to near extinction; three of the five species of rhino are all listed as endangered. Rhino horns are valued for their medicinal properties in traditional Asian medicine — for a multitude of ailments — so poaching continues to go on. Perhaps poaching in the wild is starting to go dry with the lack of rhinos because the illegal hunting activity now happens in cities; this latest incident is just one of three other rhino horn museum heists in Europe this year.
No reports have been made as to the whereabout of the thieves, and there are currently no leads on the case. How long the rhino horn heists will continue is to be determined; however, there are only so many museums and that resource will eventually be tapped out as well. Perhaps everyone in the illegal rhino horn trade should know that acupuncture also alleviates a multitude of medical issues in Asia too — and without the extinction of animals.