An unnamed 20-year-old man succeeded last week in combining trafficking in the infamous ivory trade with the destruction of historical artifacts to become one of the truly vile humans on Earth. The man broke into the Paris National History museum and cut off the tusk of the famous Louis XIV elephant with a chainsaw. An alert neighbor heard the sound of the chainsaw and called police. The man was arrested as he tried to make his escape.
The “Sun King” was given the elephant when it was alive by a Portuguese King in 1668. It lived for 13 years in the royal menagerie at Versailles (shown right). When it died, it was given to the museum and has remained as not just a natural history exhibit but a historical artifact.
The man was taken to the hospital after fracturing his ankle in his escape. He presumably was not met at the ER with a doctor with a chainsaw, but it would have been tempting.
Notably, this is the second time the elephant has been denied its tusks. The tusk cut off by the felon was not the original. This tusk however dated back to the 19th century. The French are facing a crime wave of tusks and horns taken from live animals in zoos as well as museum as part of the lucrative ivory trade.