If you’re trying to preserve a severely endangered animal, it’s obviously not the best idea to hunt it for sport. But in a bizarre twist of logic, the Dallas Safari Club has decided to auction off the chance to kill an imperiled black rhino in Namibia. The money raised will supposedly go towards preserving the remaining population of rhinos – but if the Dallas Safari Club really wanted to save rhinos, why not stop hunting them in the first place?
According to the WWF, Africa’s black rhino population plummeted by 96% between 1970 and 1992. Their decline was mainly attributed to habitat loss and heavy poaching. Rhino horns are sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine, and demand from China continues to threaten the species. Only 4,838 animals remain in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
The Dallas Safari Club plans to auction off a permit to shoot one of these creatures next January. They hope to raise at least $250,000 and donate the proceeds to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino. The club’s executive director Ben Carter attempted to rationalize the arrangement by saying: “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino . . . 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. By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow.”
Conservation groups have taken issue with Carter’s argument and see no reason why money cannot be donated directly to wildlife funds. Organizations such as The Humane Society plan to petition the US Fish and Wildlife Service to keep them from issuing a permit to let the hunter bring the carcass back to the United States.
Via ABC News