Raiders stole rhinoceros heads, worth an estimated 0.5 million euros ($650,000), from the National Museum of Ireland last week.
The daring raid consisted of four raiders that overpowered and tied up a security guard during the robbery late on the 17th April 2013, the Dublin-based museum said in a statement. He was not injured or harmed.
“The stolen rhinoceros heads have a total of eight horns that have probably been taken to supply the illegal trade in powdered horn that is used in traditional medicines in the Far East,” the museum said. “Their price is based on weight.”
Thieves have turned to museums in their search for rhino horns, as several species of the animal have become close to extinction, the museum said.
In recent years, thieves have turned to museums and private collections that include rhino taxidermy and artworks that include rhino horn.
Many museums have taken rhinoceros horn off display as a result. The National Museum of Ireland took the decision to remove all rhinoceros horn from display and the stolen specimens were placed in storage over a year ago.