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Black Rhino Permit Being Auctioned: Killing Equals Conservation?

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Looking for a way to help endangered black rhinoceroses? Willing to do anything to save the species? Would you kill one if it meant saving many? A Texas hunting club is hoping that some will. They are auctioning off a permit that will allow one hunter to kill a black rhino in Namibia.

Black rhinos are an endangered species and scientists believe there are less than 5,000 left in the world. Namibia is home to many of them. Namibia allows up to 5 black rhinos to be killed each year and the Dallas Safari Club was lucky enough to snag one of the permits that allows hunters to do so.

So how does hunting an animal that is endangered help the species? Biologists say that black rhinos are very territorial and older males will prevent younger males from mating and reproducing, thus preventing population from growing. The hunter who wins the permit will only be allowed to hunt an approved rhino. This male will be one that is older and less likely to reproduce. By hunting him, younger male rhinos will have a change to reproduce.

“First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino, Looking for a way to help endangered black rhinoceroses? Willing to do anything to save the species? Would you kill one if it meant saving many? A Texas hunting club is hoping that some will. They are auctioning off a permit that will allow one hunter to kill a black rhino in Namibia,” said Ben Carter, executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, the club hosting the auction.

The club hopes the permit will sell for at least $250,000. All of the money made from the auction will be donated to the The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino.
While this may sound like a win, win situation, not everyone agrees that it is ethical. Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States is against the auction of the permit and killing of the rhino.

“If these are multimillionaires and they want to help rhinos, they can give their money to help rhinos. They don’t need to accompany their cash transfer with a high caliber bullet,” he said.

The permit will not be auctioned off until early in 2014. Is this a smart method of conservation or ethically wrong?

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Black Rhino Permit Being Auctioned: Killing Equals Conservation?
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