Poaching To Extremes: Museum Ivory Edition

Jacques Cuisin, head of restoration at Paris’s Natural History Museum, said the damaged elephant skeleton would be repaired. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

The rhino and elephant horn poaching has got so out of hand, that even museum ivory is being targeted. Witness the recent attempt to escpae with the chainsawed tusk of an elephant once owned by Louis XIV, and on display at Paris’ Natural History Museum.


Visitors to Paris’s popular¬†Museum of Natural History¬†this weekend found a key exhibit under wraps after a man broke in and chainsawed a tusk from an elephant which once belonged to the Sun King, Louis XIV.

Police were called to the museum in the early hours of Saturday morning where they found a chainsaw still whirring after a man in his 20s escaped over a wall with a tusk over his shoulder. A police official said a neighbour of the museum on Paris’s Left Bank alerted authorities after hearing a strange sawing sound at around 3am. The museum alarm system was activated and startled the intruder into fleeing just minutes after beginning his chainsaw attack. He was treated in hospital for a fractured ankle from a fall while escaping and was being questioned by investigators.

Better keep an eye on your pianos. The only thing that has a hope of stopping this is a strictly enforced Chinese government ban on any and all ivory. But is any government, including the US, pressing this?

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