The plot of Big Game comes true: Some awful person just really killed a rhino in a French zoo

For those of you who don’t know, the plot of my book Big Game is about someone trying to poach an endangered rhino from a zoo, possibly to steal its horn.

Well, that has now happened in real life.  Yesterday, in a French Zoo near Paris, poachers broke in, killed a four year old rhino and stole its horn.  You can read the story by clicking here.  This is the victim:

I am devastated by this news.  When I came up with the idea for Big Game, it was because I actually had a fear that something like this might happen some day.  But I really hoped it wouldn’t.

The reason this happened is because the price of rhino horn is ridiculously high.  There are still horribly misinformed people out there who believe that rhino horn has the power to cure diseases such of cancer, even though that has never been proven.  (Rhino horn is made of keratin, which is the same stuff that your fingernails are made of.)  As long as there is demand for rhino horn, no matter how dumb the reasons, people will be killing rhinos.

One species of rhino, the African northern white rhino, will go extinct in the next few years.  There only three of them left in the world.

But there is also a decent chance that all species will be extinct in the wild soon, unless extreme action is taken.

If you want to help, I suggest you visit these sites and learn what you can do:

World Wildlife Fund

Save the Rhino



102 thoughts on “The plot of Big Game comes true: Some awful person just really killed a rhino in a French zoo

  1. this is just so sick…depraved…what a world we live in…pretty sure these animal poachers did not use Stuart Gibbs as inspiration.
    Stuart, thanks for highlighting the resources, a few years ago my daughter studied the black rhino in school, going to choose a charity that you highlighted to donate to, during the month of Lent.

    thanks for making us aware, we need to protect these animals.

  2. How Dare They! I have read a lot of Stuart Gibbs books books and I am a big Animals activist! Like Humans, Animals have feelings too. Some people are really stupid…

  3. I find it ironic how these people don’t even stop to think that their poaching will make it so there aren’t any rhinos left, meaning no horns. I hope these people get caught and go to prison for a long time. And at least at the bottom, the article said horns had been cut off some seven hundred rhinos. Cutting off the horns is good for the rhinos’ lives, at least.

  4. This is so devastating. I wish everyone in the world could listen to the reasons why people should stop killing rhinos (or any endangered animal).

  5. Winston –

    Sadly, these people are well aware that they are wiping the rhinos out. The fewer rhinos there are, the more each horn is worth.

  6. Hi –

    I am visiting the store only once, on the date I indicated on the schedule. The store will set up some school visits that day. Probably two.

  7. Man, I loved Big Game, i’ve read it almost a thousand times, but to see it come true, wow.

  8. Artem –

    Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation out there in the world. The best way to stop the poaching is education.

  9. Do you have any ideas about MBA 3? Also, will you ever show — SPOILER ALERT!!!! —Zans true form? ( the alien?) also how many books are planned for that series? It’s my favorite one.

  10. First off I want to say how sorry I am to hear about the rhino. It is truly a tragedy when people do things that are just– idiotic. Actually, when I read Big Game, I started donating to Save the Rhino monthly. Every bit makes a difference.

    Secondly, I LOVE your Spy School series, though I have one weird thing to point out. The whole Ben/Erica relationship is a bit unrealistic. In one of your earlier books, it stated that Erica was fifteen and a half, while Ben is 13. That’s basically like a middle schooler dating a high schooler, nice to think about, but probably never going to happen. Anyway, just wanted to point that out. God bless you, Mr. Gibbs.

  11. David –

    Thanks for donating to Save the Rhino!

    And yes, I know there is a big gap between Erica and Ben in their ages. That’s one of the big stumbling blocks to them having any kind of relationship. But that doesn’t mean they can’t like one another. That’s not the same thing as dating. And they’re not dating.

  12. I wonder how long until those idiots make the connection that our fingernails are made out of the same thing as rhino horn?

  13. Stu,

    Even education doesn’t help. People can be idiots. Sure, it might help that people know that it doesn’t have magical power and stuff, but there are always going to be people who don’t care a thing about other life than their own.If it’s easier to kill something and get money for it, than it i going to keep happening. I think human life should be held to a higher standard to animals and plants-but only in life and death cases. God made this planet for us, and they are his creations, but we are the only ones made in his own image. What’s the usual punishment for poaching? Anyone heard of The Law? Education won’t help in this case. Only when it costs more to poach than to do some honest labor will the killing stop.

  14. Anyone who thinks that animals are basically robots to make money off of are totally insensitive. . Or their frontal lobe in their brain never developed. Or they had brain damage. Probably all.

  15. Is there a wildlife agency for bees? Because we really need one. Once all of the bees are dead, life on earth will be at an end in 5 years or so, due to the lack of pollinators. Just wanted to point that out. Sorry. I talk a lot.

  16. Stu-
    Aww I feel so bad for that rhino he (or she) didn’t deserve that fate. Also when you visit the Blue Willow bookshop in Houston ,Tx how many books can you sign

  17. Here’s how education helps:

    If no one is willing to pay money for rhino horns, then it won’t be worth it for poachers to kill them. Poachers aren’t going out and killing rhinos because they are evil. In addition, poaching is a very dangerous profession. The only reason someone commits this crime is because they need the money and poaching pays extremely well.

    If poaching is no longer profitable, it won’t happen any more.

  18. what the heck! This is terrible.This is all because of misinformation right? Maybe if this new generation of kids and adults for that matter just left their cell phones and Ipads or whatnot, we would be more aware and we can find a way to stop this mess! I agree with you Stu, More than the money, education is very important. If someone, anyone for that matter can find a way to educate tribal people and the world for that matter, this crisis would be solved in a jiffy! People shouldn’t feel like they can get away with misdeeds like this. They aren’t cheating anyone but themselves. I do feel that since some people are either too lazy to do work or they can’t find a job, they resolve to the black market so they can earn money. Ever since I have heard this news, Stu, I have donated some of my money that I earned tothe Save the Rhinos fund and to the WWF fund. I seriously hope that one day these animals will be saved.

  19. That is just horrible! Rhinos are my favorite animals though I love many others! You’re books have helped me so much in the past few years I’m so grateful! Just a few questions! Why do you write books for spy school faster than books for FunJungle? Not that I care because I love all your series. Do you plan on starting a new series? And when will the main animal in be released for FJ #5? I’ve already finished Panda-Monium. 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Zak –

    The reason I am writing more spy school books than FunJungle books is that, at the moment, there is a greater demand for SS. At the moment, I have no plans for a new series. And I don’t know what the animal for FJ5 is yet. I’m still thinking about it.

  21. How about a gorilla for funjungle #5?
    It would be especially good since Teddy’s mom works with them.
    Also,will you ever come to south carolina on a tour?

  22. Anonymous –

    Not sure about the gorilla. Maybe. Though I have already done chimps and orangs.

    I would love to come to SC on a tour.

  23. Zak –

    Warren got in because his parents were very powerful in politics.

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is among my favorite series.

  24. What’s your favorite series that you’ve written? Sorry. I wasn’t clear in my previous question. Thanks for your time!

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