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Rhino horn worth R150 000 stolen from museum

Published Nov 15, 2002


By Louis Oelofse

A rhino horn worth about R150 000 has been ripped from a stuffed white Rhino on display at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria.

A thief apparently walked into the mammal display hall and ripped the horn, which is more than 0.5m long, from one of four rhinos on display.

The incident comes as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, in a controversial decision, has agreed to allow South Africa to sell its ivory stocks.

Shocked museum director Paul Bayliss described the theft as a great loss. "This is heritage that was stolen from people, not the museum, and we do not have the money to replace it."

He said it was a quiet day at the museum, which draws up to 70 000 visitors a year. "We do not have security cameras, but we do have security personnel who walk through the museum.

"The thief took the horn from the biggest of the four rhinos on display."

A museum employee raised the alarm after noticing that the horn was missing.

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