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Featured Image Credit: Royan News
Two visitors have carved their names in to a rhino's back in a zoo in France, sparking outrage around the world.
The 35-year-old animal was seen with the names Camille and Julien scratched into its skin, at La Palmyre zoo, which is about 500km south of Paris.
Director of the zoo, Pierre Caille, said that the rhino, called Noelle, had the words inscribed into her back in a layer of dead skin and mud.
In a Facebook status shared by the zoo, owners said how the park's managers were 'obviously outraged by the stupidity' of the people.
Translated from French, the status reads: "When the rhinos are against the wall, visitors actually have the opportunity to touch the skin of their back and the vast majority do it with respect.
"We believe that being able to approach such an animal raises the emotion of the visitor and allows it to raise awareness not only about diversity, but also to the majesty of the living around us."
As reported by French news agency AFP, the owner said: "The animal may not even have realised.
"We quickly brushed the writing away and there was no harm to the animal."
People aren't happy at seeing the pretty awful sight, with some even saying that it's a sign that zoos shouldn't be allowed to operate.
Another example why zoos and circuses with animals should go. Imbeciles in a French Zoo in La Palmyre carved their names in the skin of a Rhino. Only in zoos a Rhino can be approached as if it was a domesticated animal. pic.twitter.com/GpFrGMuNkQ
- ThaiMythbuster (@thaimythbuster) August 21, 2019
Another Twitter user commented: "French zoo visitors scratch names into rhino's back: what is wrong with people?"
Someone else posted: "What the actual f***! It's bad enough that this poor creature is incarcerated in a zoo then these total s***** go and do this to her. Camille & Julien, karma is looking for you, there is no escape."
One person simply said: "Oh for heavens sake! What's wrong with you people!!"
Another commented: "I'm more concerned about the weight and health of the rhino, why does he/she look so skinny?"
To which the zoo responded: "Our rhinos have alfalfa available throughout the day and get a supplement of pellets, apples and carrots (and alfalfa again) in the evening. This rhino is 35 y.o. (so not a young individual) and is indeed thinner than the others, but he's doing well.
"The health of our animals is of course our priority and we take action as soon as a problem should occur."