Thieves who broke into the Natural History Museum in Tring, Hertfordshire thought that they had hit pay dirt when they stole the horns from two rhinos in the taxidermy display.
Rhino horn is extremely valuable and can fetch £60,000 per kg in the far east where it is prized for its supposed medicinal qualities. Weighing 4ilos their haul would have been worth £240,000 but for one thing: the real horns had been replaced by replicas made out of resin.
Police are investigating after the thieves smashed through the museum's front doors a. It is believed they removed the horns from the animals using a large hammer.
Manager Paul Kitching said: "We're deeply saddened by this pointless theft. The rhinoceros horns that have been stolen were replicas made out of resin, so they have no commercial value. We're now working with the police and urge anyone with any pertinent information to get in touch."
Sadly thefts of rhino horns from museums is on the increase. Replacing real rhino horns with replicas in now commonplace. I hope the criminals are caught and sentenced. In the meantime I would like to have seen their faces as they tried to offload the useless horns.
Better still I hope to see the end of the idiotic quackery that creates the market for the horns.. Rhino horns have no therapeutic benefit at all as an antipyretic (which is what it is used for in Chinese medicine and not as an aphrodisiac as commonly believed). Some traditional doctors might be well advised to find out about the benefits of a a compound based on willow bark extract. It is very cheap and is available at a fraction of the cost...