In France, two visitors have abominably etched their names into a rhino’s back in a zoo, fueling revulsion around the world.
The 35-year-old rhino was spotted with the names Julien and Camille scraped into its skin, at the La Palmyre zoo. Pierre Caille, Director of the zoo, stated that the rhino, named Noelle, had the words engraved into her back in mud and a layer of dead skin. In a Facebook post shared by the zoo, owners expressed how the managers at the park were ‘obviously outraged by the stupidity’ of the persons. “When the rhinos are against the wall, visitors actually have the opportunity to touch the skin of their back and the vast majority do it with respect. We believe that being able to approach such an animal raises the emotion of the visitor and allows it to raise awareness not only about diversity, but also to the majesty of the living around us.” The zoo’s owner added: “The animal may not even have realized. We quickly brushed the writing away and there was no harm to the animal.”
One Twitter subscriber commented: “French zoo visitors scratch names into rhino’s back: what is wrong with people?” Someone else posted: “What the actual f! It’s bad enough that this poor creature is incarcerated in a zoo then these total s** go and do this to her. Camille & Julien, karma is looking for you, there is no escape.” Another person said simply: “Oh for heavens sake! What’s wrong with you people!!” Another posted: “I’m more concerned about the weight and health of the rhino, why does he/she look so skinny?” To which the zoo replied: “Our rhinos have alfalfa available throughout the day and get a supplement of pellets, apples and carrots (and alfalfa again) in the evening. This rhino is 35 y.o. (so not a young individual) and is indeed thinner than the others, but he’s doing well. The health of our animals is of course our priority and we take action as soon as a problem should occur.”
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