LES MATHES, France – It’s one thing to scrawl your name on a random wall. Staff at one of France’s most-visited zoos say visitors instead chose to make their mark on a rhinoceros’ back.
La Palmyre Zoo said it was “outraged by the stupidity and disrespect” of the visitors who apparently used fingernails to scratch the names “Camille” and “Julien” into the dead skin and dust on the back on a 35-year-old female rhino named Noëlle, per the Hill.
The zoo said visitors are able to touch the rhino near the perimeter of its enclosure and usually do so respectfully, reports AFP. However, wildlife protection charity Le Biome argues the zoo “fell short of standards” for permitting that kind of interaction to occur.
Zoo director Pierre Caille said the names were brushed away and “there was no harm to the animal,” who “may not even have realized” what happened.
He added zoo officials will not be taking legal action, though they are considering adding surveillance cameras.
(Read more rhinoceros stories.)
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