The ‘Versailles rhinoceros’ arrived in France in 1770 from India, where he remained for 20 years on display in an enclosure of approximately 240m2 in the Versailles menagerie. He was studied by many, including George Cuvier, Petrus Campus and Comte deBuffon. His death is controversial, as it is thought that he drowned in his pond, but more likely, as a symbol of the extravagant monarchy, was hacked to death by a revolutionary in 1793. The body was brought to new natural history museum in Paris, where it was dissected by Félix Vicq d’Azyr and first Director of the natural science museum, Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton. It was then taxidermied, its skin stretched over an oak frame and its skeleton preserved separately. The skin and skeleton remain on display in the Musée nationale d’histoire naturelle, Paris.
L. C. Rookmaaker.1983. “Histoire du rhinocéros de Versailles (1770-1793)” Revue d’histoire des sciences Vol 36(3) p.307-18
A. Pe´quignot. 2013.The rhinoceros (fl. 1770–1793) of King Louis XV and its horns. Archives of natural history 40.2. p. 213–227. http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/138/1381294520.pdf
‘Versailles rhinoceros’ skeleton. Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative anatomy, National Museum of Natural History,Paris
‘Versailles rhinoceros’ taxidermied skin. Gallery of Evolution, National Museum of Natural History, Paris