Target: Dallas Safari Club
Goal: Condemn the Dallas Safari Club for auctioning off a permit to shoot endangered black rhino
The Dallas Safari Club recently held an auction where it auctioned off a permit to shoot an endangered black rhino in Namibia. It hoped to raise between $250,000 and $1 million for The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino. The winning bid went to hunter Corey Knowlton, who paid $350,000 for the permit.
Executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, Ben Carter said, “There is a biological reason for this hunt, and it’s based on a fundamental premise of modern wildlife management: Populations matter; individuals don’t,” Carter said. “By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow.”
However, it seems very hypocritical to be auctioning off a murder in order to raise money to conserve a species. Scientists estimate that there are about 5,055 black rhinoceroses left in the world, a decline of about 96 percent in the last 100 years. Two to three rhinos are killed by poachers per day, leading to even greater population declines.
Jeff Flocken, North American director for International Fund for Animal Welfare said, “Killing animals to save them is not only counterintuitive but ludicrous,” he told National Geographic. “We’re talking a highly endangered species, and generating a furor to kill them in the name of conservation is not going to do anything to help them in the long run.” He said that hunting sends a signal to world markets that the animal is worth more dead than alive, increasing poaching from its already astronomical levels.
Understandably, many animal activist groups are up in arms about the permit. Both the club and Knowlton have received death threats. The Humane Society of the United States is petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prohibit the auction winner from bringing the black rhino trophy into the country.
Auctioning off a rhino to save the species just doesn’t seem right. It is certainly not at the heart of conservation or animal welfare. Condemn the Dallas Safari Club for auctioning off a permit to kill a black rhino.
Dear Dallas Safari Club,
In one of your recent fundraisers, you auctioned off a permit to shoot a black rhino. With Rhinos dwindling numbers, the loss of an animal to pure human greed seems unthinkable. While the money going to conservation is noble, it seems hypocritical when what it purchased is the opposite of conservation.
Please do not do this again. While death threats are extreme, the sentiment that many animal activists are trying to get across is that this does not seem right. In order to conserve, we do not need to kill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karl Stromayer via Wikimedia Commons