Image: Natal Lion Park/Facebook

The rhino poaching crisis has escalated to a new level — another captive rhino has been slaughtered for its horn. 

It hasn’t been that long since the white rhino Vincent was killed at the Thoiry Zoo in Paris. This time it is a pachyderm in South Africa that is faced with a similar fate.

Maxine was an 11-year-old female white rhino who lived in Natal Lion Park. She was killed by poachers in the early hours of the morning. A veterinary examination confirmed the cause of death was a bullet to her head while she was sleeping.

Maxine had been an orphan, hand raised by her captors in the park. According to Earth Touch News Network, there are only about 20,000 white rhinos remaining in the wild, which makes every death a heavy blow to the population.

Image: James Sanders, Flickr

The only good part of this story is that she didn’t suffer while they removed her horn.

While the poaching situation has escalated across the board, these attacks on captive rhinos are a new and terrifying development.

“We are devastated,” the Natal Lion Park staff wrote on Facebook. “We are in shock, and will do everything possible to find the culprits responsible for this heinous crime.”

Coincidentally, news of Maxine’s death occurred just days after a major rhino horn bust at the Tambo International Airport.

There is hope that efforts will be made on a wide scale to ensure these transgressions are put to an end.

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