Classic Oxymoron – Dallas auctions permit to hunt rare Rhino for $350,000 to raise money for conservation


Of all the things that money can buy, did you ever think it could buy you rhino-hunting rights? If you replied in negative, let me tell you, you were wrong. Because a recent auction just gave them away to an undisclosed buyer on Saturday night. The bugger now gets to hunt an endangered beast and also conserve wildlife! Allow me to explain.

Hunt the black rhino to save the black rhino. That’s the Dallas Safari Club’s approach to the fundraiser carried out to protect the endangered animals. You see the rhino in question is old, male and nonbreeding. It is becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife, said Ben Carter, executive director of the Safari Club, which sponsored the closed-door event.

Speaking of which, it has been slammed by critics complaining of inhumaneness. “This auction is telling the world that an American will pay anything to kill their species,” Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based IFAW, said. “This is, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species.” But spectacle or no spectacle, the animal was anyway likely to be targeted for removal.

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Officials from the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare on the other hand said that culling could be appropriate in abundant animal populations but all black rhinos should be protected, given their endangered status. And some of you might agree with them. But doesn’t that mean they and the Safari Club are on the same side then?

They both would like the welfare of the rhino population. So what if the latter wants to make a little bit of money while at it? Especially if it goes for conservation efforts itself! An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, down from 70,000 in the 1960s. Some one was going to have to do something about them! Now with one rare rhino out of the picture, the rest can procreate without any threat to them.

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All money raised can go toward protecting the species as well. And by money, I mean, a whopping $350,000 that has been generated, though the organizers were hoping to touch a million. Club spokesman Steve Wagner confirmed the sale of the permit for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia. It offers five permits each year, and the one auctioned Saturday was the first to be made available for purchase outside of the nation.

[Via – Vancouver-Sun]