Rhino horn stolen from campus; reward offered

The University is offering a reward for information about a black rhino horn stolen from campus.


The University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a $3,000 reward for the horn’s return and the thief’s identity, according to a May 3 Associated Press article.


Biology department staff noticed the horn was missing from a locked room in Torrey Hall at about 2 p.m. April 27, stated Jeff Wakefield, associate director of news and public affairs, in a campuswide email May 3.


UVM police services is handling the case, according to the email.


A special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the horn could be headed for the international black market, where black rhino horns are valued for potential medicinal properties, according to the AP article.


The value of the stolen horn is unknown.


An accusation in a different case of horn theft in New York from February valued single horns at about $160,000 each, according to the article.


The Fleming Museum acquired the horn in the early 1900s. It was kept in Williams Hall until it was moved to the zoology department in 1950, the email stated.


The collection was moved to Torrey as part of the Zadock Thompson Natural History Collections, Vermont’s zoological research collection, according to the email.
The horn’s genetic material offers scientists information about black rhinoceri from hundreds of years ago, the email stated.