AZA News Releases

AZA Statement on Rhino Poaching Incident at Zoo Near Paris, France

Silver Spring, MD – According to recent media reports, a white rhinoceros was killed and one of its horns removed by poachers at the Thoiry Zoo, located outside of Paris, France. In response, the Honorable Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, issued the following statement:

“What occurred overnight at the Thoiry Zoo is an unspeakable crime of animal cruelty and a barbarous act that AZA and its members condemn at the highest levels. AZA-accredited zoos around the world are working to conserve all species of rhinoceros for future generations, so any loss is impactful.

“In addition, zoos and aquariums accredited by AZA take the safety and protection of the animals in their care very seriously, especially that of rhinoceros and elephants. They work closely with their local law enforcement partners to assure their current security protocols meet the needs of the facility. AZA members are also actively involved in raising public awareness regarding wildlife trafficking and the devastating impact it is having on species.

“Our thoughts are with the staff at Thoiry Zoo, and it is our sincere hope the poacher or poachers are brought to swift justice for their horrible crime.”

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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