Black Rhino Hunting Auction: A method of “conserving” an endangered species?

In January 2014, the Dallas Safari Club auctioned off a permit to hunt and kill an endangered Black Rhino in Namibia, a southern African country that offers five such permits a year. Corey Knowlton, who works as a hunting consultant for Hunting Consortium, placed the winning bid of $350,000. With this license, he is permitted to kill one of the remaining 4,000 black rhinos still in existence in the wild.

Knowlton and the Dallas Safari Club are defending the auction by stating that the proceeds of this auction will go toward efforts to protect this endangered species. However, conservation groups and animal welfare organizations refute this defense by arguing that allowing for the killing of a member of an endangered species sends a negative message to the public, regardless of the amount of money raised to protect the remaining members of the species.

The Endangered Species Act requires receiving a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in order to bring an endangered species into the country. If Knowlton proceeds with the hunt, the Humane Society of the United States and other conservation and animal welfare groups have stated that they will attempt to block Knowlton from bringing the dead Black Rhino “trophy” back to the United States.

To read more about the Black Rhino auction, see below:

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