French Visitors Scratch Their Names Into Back Of Rhino

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We have previously discussed how thoughtless people can be in the treatment of animals. The latest such controversy comes from La Palmyre zoo in Royan, France. The zoo allows visitors to actually touch animals like a rhinoceros. At least two people used the access to scratch their names on to the back of the animal. “Camille” and “Julien” can now live in infamy.

It is amazing to think of two people given the opportunity to touch a rare 35-year-old female rhino who immediately wanted to scratch graffiti on its back. It takes not just unparalleled vanity but depravity to treat animals in this way.

Obviously, the animal was not harmed and does not appreciate the indignity of such conduct. Most animal abuse rules refer to serious physical pain or injury. However, it is still a form of abuse that should be subject to some sanction. I am not suggesting jail time, it seems to me that a fine would be useful as a deterrent. If you agree, what should it be?

28 thoughts on “French Visitors Scratch Their Names Into Back Of Rhino”

  1. The rhino looks like age is heavy upon her. Elderly animals have a hard time absorbing nutrients from their food. Her body condition looks quite poor. I hope she is getting the proper veterinary care. Sometimes, elderly animals get euthanized, even when they are still perky, walking around, and eating, when they lose enough of the ability to absorb calories and nutrients that they lose too much weight. When a horse starts going downhill, for example, it can be a battle to keep groceries on their frame. The hips jutting out are the first sign. The sight of a ribby old horse can fill an owner with dread. I remember devising complicated feeding plans to bring my retired TB out of a few declines before his final downward slide claimed him.

    Of course graffiti of an animal should be prosecuted.

    I knew a rhino once, years ago, who was an animal actor. He was the sweetest thing, so I’m very partial to rhinos. Would follow people around like a dog. His hide was very tough, indeed, and he loved to be leaned on, and scratched. You had to be extremely careful not to allow your arm to get between him and the corral fence, though, or else he might accidentally crush it. You also had to be aware of his horn, as every time he sniffed around, he might casually sweep your feet out from under you. He was like a calm Golden Retriever with horns, weighing thousands of pounds, who was absolutely delighted to have visitors.

    The condition and treatment of this animal is very sad. It is too bad that visitors do not value the opportunity to be near her, or respect her as a living thing. It is also apparent that keepers are not closely monitoring public interaction with her, for this to have repeatedly occurred.

  2. There is certain areas I think many people can come together.

    Dr Michael Savage, Prof Turley, myself & many others are concerned by people/govts/ Nut Jobs lack of concern of their treatment of animals the waters/environment around them.

    Many get diverted with Wallst/Oil companies Climate Change BS not even smart enough to realize we have a Sun that drives most of the climate & the plants need Co2, but then they’ll go hose their yards down with cancer causing chemicals that run off into our water supplies.

    But back to some other things that something can be done. Dr Savage brings up news that for sometime now Islamic Nut Jobs in Africa are machine gunning down Elephants, Rhinos & other wildlife for Ivory tusk, Rhino Horns, etc.., to sell to fund their Islamic Invasion into Africa.

  3. Depravity is too strong of a word. These goofs scratched through dirt and some dry skin to write their names. The names were dusted away with a scrub brush. While obnoxious, what they did is akin to writing ‘Wash me’ on someone else’s car.

    1. I like the “wash me” analogy. Except a car is inanimate and lacks the will to express dissatisfaction if someone starts writing on it.

      These animals do have the capacity to express dissatisfaction. If they didn’t want to be touched they could either become aggressive toward the toucher or moved to put distance between themselves from the toucher. That the animals chose to be still long enough for Camille and Julien to write their names, perfectly, through the dust, seems to indicate the animals were not at all bothered by it. Some farm raised hogs like having their ears rubbed and backs scratched. I bet rhinos do, too.

    2. The paucity of thought is astonishing. Whether this scrubs off or not, the idea of nose-pickers sanctioned to graffiti animals is too much for me. Bon Voyage!

  4. When they die they will get their interview at the Pearly Gates. Standing in for Saint what’s his name will be a Rhino to oversee the interview and make the decision to let them into heaven or send them to Hell. Straight to Hell.

  5. >> Zoo director Pierre Caille said the visitors used their nails to scratch through a layer of dirty and dry skin on the rhino’s back.<> the names were “quickly erased with the help of a brush and did not cause any discomfort to the animal.”<<

    Dirty, dead skin gets itchy. The animals likely felt relief, even pleasure, getting their back scratched.

    The most fascinating thing to me is that you apparently read all of that and still concluded it is "abuse". No wonder you made no effort to try to explain why it is abuse, and just declare it is self evidently true.

    1. Rhinos do enjoy getting scratched. I knew a rhino once that enjoyed being leaned on, pet, and scratched.

      I am happy to hear that the marks were not deep, and were just in the dry skin. It bothers me that they used a zoo animal to write on. That’s not nice or respectful of the zoo or the animal. They should have been raised better. It also might indicate that there is not much supervision of park guests who can touch a rhino.

      It’s really juvenile, thoughtless behavior. They should have to muck the corral for a day.

      1. It’d be tempting to have the zookeepers ‘forget’ to clean it for a day before Camille and Julien’s appointed community service.

    1. Sharon – I went out and did an image search on rhinos. It is really hard to tell, but this particular rhino seems skinnier then the the hundred or so pics I looked at. Are you a zoologist? I am just going on what looks proper.

        1. Mespo,
          While I agree that the rhino looks a bit thin, I wonder if it is her age. The rhino is 35-years-old. In captivity, at least one species generally lives 35-50 years. Some creatures get thin as they age. We had an old cat who lived to be 22-years-old. No matter what we fed him, he just kept getting skinnier and skinnier in the 5 years or so before he died. Two of my great-grandpas also slowly lost weight the last 5 or so years before they died in their late 80s.

            1. You shouldn’t talk about Mespo behind his back. Oh wait, you’re talking about the thin one in the picture

              Oooopps!

  6. The rhino looks emaciated to me. That might be a bigger abuse. As for our itch-inspired frogs, I’d have them mucking stalls for a week or so. That’s do a number on their French manicures.

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