The effort to save endangered species from poachers seems to have taken a bizarre turn where the black rhino is concerned. The Dallas Safari Club is reportedly planning to auction a permit for hunting a black rhino in Namibia. The hunt would allow for the killing of a lone post-breeding bull.
Club executive director Ben Carter says that the move to auction such a permit is in fact meant to help the endangered rhino species.
"These bulls no longer contribute to the growth of the population and are in a lot of ways detrimental to the growth of the population because black rhinos are very aggressive and territorial. In many cases, they will kill younger, non-breeding bulls and have been known to kill calves and cows."
He also says that allowing the hunt permit to be sold will raise money that could help ensure the survival of the black rhino species. The hunting club hopes the auctioned ticket will fetch as much as $1,000,000 to be put towards the preservation of the animal.
Despite the intentions of the Dallas Safari Club, certain animal rights groups take issue with the method in which the preservation money is earned. For instance, Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, says his organization opposes any form of hunting of animals regardless of the reasons.
"Killing an animal as a head-hunting exercise is archaic and inhumane. We can't just cherry-pick the perfect set of facts to justify this gambit."
There are also reports of death threats from animal rights activists over the hunt, causing the Dallas Safari Club to contact the FBI to investigate.
Namibia has been successful at preserving the country's tiny population of black rhino through controlled hunting and conservation efforts.
There hadn't been much trouble for the black rhino until about 2010, when a Vietnamese official's relative was said to have been cured of cancer by a medicine that featured the horn of the animal. Despite a lack of medical evidence to substantiate the claim, poaching of the animal skyrocketed.
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