Poachers Make Off With the Horn of a Fiberglass Rhino

babasteve/CC BY 2.0

It sounds like a story from the Onion or an April Fools' Day headline but a recent report from the BBC appears to be true: A thief—and presumed poacher—in South Africa has absconded with the horn of a fiberglass rhino sculpture.

The sculpture, which adorned the fireplace of the Lombardini Game Farm in South Africa, honored the facility's first rhino, named Barendina. "I was angry at the time, but it was also funny," the reserve's owner, Susan Lottering, told the BBC.

Police suspect the intruder was looking for money inside the house and—when none was found—took a chance on the rhino horn.

The game farm operates a breeding program for rhinos, buffalo and sable. The 15 live white rhinos on the reserve are all dehorned to discourage poachers.

A record number of rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa last year and the alarming practice shows no sign of slowing in 2012.

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Endangered Species | South Africa