UVM Offers Reward For Stolen Rhino Horn

May 3, 2017

The University of Vermont is offering a reward for information about the theft of a rhinoceros horn from the university campus.

According to a release from UVM Police Services, police received a report on Thursday, April 27 that the horn was stolen from Torrey Hall.

“Due to the historic importance of this item, The University of Vermont is offering a monetary reward for information leading to the recovery of the property and arrest of the person(s) involved in its theft,” the release said.

Officials did not specify the reward amount.

Aside from the historical importance of the horn, it likely has a high monetary value as well. According to Quartz, demand for rhino horns surged in Vietnam in the mid-2000s because of rumors that the horns could cure cancer — or perhaps enhance virility — when ground into a powder and swallowed.

UVM spokesman Jeff Wakefield says the horn was acquired in the early 1900s and originally held in UVM’s Fleming Museum.

“In about 1950, the natural history specimens were moved out of the Fleming to what was then the Department of Zoology, but the paperwork didn’t move with them – so that’s why we don’t have the details on the horn’s provenance,” Wakefield said. “The rhino horn was on display in the natural history collection housed in Torrey Hall."