Outrage as zoo visitors carve their names into the back of a rhino

Outrage as zoo visitors carve their names into the back of a rhino

A ZOO in France has blasted the visitors who scratched their names into the back of one of their rhinos with their fingernails.

The outraged zoo branded the visitors "stupid" and "disrespectful" after noticing their 35-year-old white rhinoceros had the names "Camille" and "Julien" carved into her back.

The incident occurred at the La Palmyre zoo in southern France, which sees around 700,000 people visit each year.

The park said it would not be taking any legal action against the unknown perpetrators; however, they lambasted the visitors with a post to their Facebook page.

The post said that the park's management is outraged by the stupidity  and disrespect of the culprits, and insisted that the opportunity for visitors to go up and touch the skin of the rhinos is supposed to be a "moving experience."

The rhino, called Noelle, appeared to be unharmed by the incident and the names were able to be removed by brushing her hide, but the park is reportedly now considering installing CCTV surveillance in order to prevent such an incident happening again.

Rhinos have incredibly thick skin and it's unlikely that Noelle would've been able to feel what was being done to her, but nevertheless, given the scarcity of rhinos - not just in the wild, but in captivity too - around the world, we should be treating each and every one with care, respect and love.

Poaching has severely diminished rhino populations around the world and there are now just an estimated 30,000 rhinos left alive.

White rhinos are the most common species, with around 21,000 left in the wild.

They're called white rhinos not because of their colour, but because of a mis-translation. They're known as the square (or wide) lipped rhino and they name 'white' comes from the word 'wide' originally.