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Rhino killed in Paris zoo reveals urgency of legislation to end U.S.’ role in wildlife trafficking and remove financial incentive to kill rhinos

The killing of a white rhinoceros named Vince in a zoo near Paris underscores the deplorable state of the global rhino poaching crisis. In an effort to cut off the demand for rhino horn, which drives poachers to kill rhinoceros at an alarming rate, legislation to ban the trade in rhino horn is pending in states including Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Vermont. California, Hawai’i, New York, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington have already adopted measures to ban trade in rhino horn, as well as elephant ivory.

Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife protection for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “The tragic death of Vince at the hand of poachers highlights the truly global nature of the rhinoceros poaching crisis. It is overwhelmingly clear that the international community must do everything possible to protect rhinos before they disappear forever.”

Three rhinos are poached every day for their horns, and last year more than 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa, where the majority of the world’s rhinoceroses live. If current poaching rates continue, rhinos could disappear in the next decade. Just two weeks ago at a rhino orphanage in South Africa, poachers seeking their tiny horns killed a rhino calf and severely injured another. Poachers also assaulted the animal caretakers.

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