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Photo credit: Parc Zoologique de Thoiry

A young white rhino was killed after being shot in the head three times by poachers who broke into the Thoiry Zoo in Paris Monday night. Poachers de-horned the 4-year-old rhino, named Vince, and left alive two other white rhinos, 37-year-old Gracie and 5-year-old Bruno. They left part of Vince's second horn, leading local police to believe they were ill-equipped or interrupted. The poachers are still at large.

"It is extremely shocking what just happened," Zoo Director Thierry Duguet said. "An act of such violence, never before seen in Europe."

A young white rhino was killed after being shot in the head three times by poachers who broke into the Thoiry Zoo in Paris Monday night. Poachers de-horned the 4-year-old rhino, named Vince, and left alive two other white rhinos, 37-year-old Gracie and 5-year-old Bruno. They left part of Vince’s second horn, leading local police to believe they were ill-equipped or interrupted. The poachers are still at large.


“It is extremely shocking what just happened,” Zoo Director Thierry Duguet said. “An act of such violence, never before seen in Europe.”

White rhinos at the Parc Zoologique de Thoiry.Parc Zoologique de Thoiry / Facebook

Vince was discovered by his caretaker Tuesday morning. According to reports, the poachers forced open a gate and two doors to enter the rhinoceros building. They likely used a chainsaw to remove Vince’s horns.

A trend of rhino horn thefts from private collections and museums in the past several years has led to increased concern among conservationists for captive rhinos, The Washington Post explained. These bold new attacks are a sign that “zoological facilities need to take serious measures to keep their rhinos safe,” said Susie Ellis, executive director of International Rhino Foundation.

Crawford Allan, Senior Director of TRAFFIC North America, encourages zoos to immediately assess and increase their security and specifically recommended thermal imaging cameras and an increase in the number of security guards.

In other disturbing news, armed poachers in February 2017 attacked the staff of the Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa and killed two baby rhinos for their horns.

Rhinos at the Thula Thula Rhino OrphanageThula Thula Rhino Orphanage / Facebook

In 2016, 1,054 rhino killings were reported in South Africa. While this represents a modest decline from 1,175 in 2015, it is the fourth year in a row that more than 1,000 rhinos have been poached in South Africa.

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Pope Francis, long known for his commitment to environmental stewardship, has taken his call for climate action one step further. He now owns an electric car, a Nissan LEAF.


The LEAF was given to the Pope in late February by German asset manager and mathematician Jochen Wermuth. The Pope’s Nissan LEAF can travel up to 107 miles with a 30 kilowatt-hour battery. Wermuth tried to give the Pope a Tesla Model S electric limousine but the Pope preferred a smaller vehicle. The two men took a small test drive through the Vatican. Wermuth drove and the Pope sat next to him in the front seat.

The Pope sits in his Nissan Leaf.Wermuth Asset Management / Driwe

Pope Francis is “the last superstar of mankind,” Wermuth said. He also described the Pope as an example for other heads of state as well as every man on Earth.

Wermuth’s connection with the Vatican extends beyond this eco-friendly gift. Wermuth’s asset management firm is working with the Vatican to update the Holy See’s investment strategy in line with the Pope’s climate views. They are using his 2015 encyclical, Laudato si’: On Care for Our Common Home, as a guide.

“Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it,” the Pope said in his encyclical.

Wermuth is known for giving the largest donation ever to the Greens, Germany’s environmental party. The 47-year-old Protestant supported the Greens’ election campaigns in Berlin, Baden-Württemberg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, donating around $630,000. Wermuth worked for Deutsche Bank in Russia in the 90s and is now a proponent of divesting from fossil fuels, Spiegel Online reported.

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Denmark generated 97 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from wind energy Feb. 22, enough to meet the entire country's electricity needs. According to Wind Europe, 70 GWh came from onshore wind and 27 GWh came from offshore wind, which is enough to power "the equivalent of 10 million average EU households."

WindEurope's daily wind tool shows that on the same day, 18.8 percent of European electricity demand was met by wind power. Germany was second behind Denmark, meeting 52 percent of its electricity demand from wind.

Denmark generated 97 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from wind energy Feb. 22, enough to meet the entire country’s electricity needs. According to Wind Europe, 70 GWh came from onshore wind and 27 GWh came from offshore wind, which is enough to power “the equivalent of 10 million average EU households.”


WindEurope’s daily wind tool shows that on the same day, 18.8 percent of European electricity demand was met by wind power. Germany was second behind Denmark, meeting 52 percent of its electricity demand from wind.

2015 was an extremely successful year for Denmark’s wind power generation. Denmark produced 42 percent of its electricity from wind, breaking the world record and the country’s 2014 record.

Also, during a particularly windy period in the summer of 2015, Denmark produced 140 percent of its country’s electricity needs from wind power.

Denmark’s accumulated wind energy capacity grew each year between 2006 and 2015.

In related news, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind unveiled a new 9-Megawatt (MW) turbine in January. When the prototype was tested at the Østerild Wind Turbine Test Field off the coast of Denmark in December 2016, it produced 215,999.1 kilowatt-hours and broke the 24-hour energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine.

With the continuing success and growth of its wind industry, Denmark may well meet its goal to generate 50 percent of its power with renewable energy by 2020.

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