Well, we knew this was coming. In October 2013, Inhabitat reported on the Dallas Safari Club’s nefarious plan to auction off a rare permit to hunt and kill a black rhino in the African nation of Namibia. Despite sustained outcry from the conservation and environmental communities, the Club proceeded with it’s unsavory plan and last night, the hunting permit was sold for $350,000 at a closed-door auction in Dallas. Perhaps most shocking wasn’t the price, but the fact that Club members claim that the funds will be donated to rhino conservation efforts.

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It was only in June 2013 that the endangered black rhino was declared officially extinct, meaning that no individuals can be found surviving outside cultivation, captivity, or naturalized populations.

As Inhabitat’s Taz Loomans reported in the feature story, “6 Critically Endangered Animals Under Threat of Extinction,” humans are almost entirely to blame for what happened to the black rhino, and they have a funny way of showing their concern now that the species is on its way out.  “Rhinos were considered vermin during Africa’s colonization, and were exterminated at all costs…Rhinos are one of the oldest groups of mammals and are virtually living fossils. They play an important role in habitats throughout countries like Namibia. They are also an important source of income from ecotourism.”

In its defense, the Dallas Safari Club claims that “the rhino that the winner would be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.”

While occasional and highly selective culling can be healthy in some animal populations, the black rhino isn’t one of them. “Officials from the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have said that while culling can be appropriate in abundant animal populations, all black rhinos should be protected, given their endangered status,” reports Fox News.

Rather than performing a benevolent deed, the issue and auction of this black rhino hunting permit is yet another example of human excess. It demonstrates that there is no amusement too grotesque for the world’s wealthy, and turns the final decline of the black rhino into a global spectacle.

About 40 protester gathered outside the venue where the Dallas Safari Club held its auction. So far the Club has not specified which lucky conservation group will be approached with the blood money.

via Fox News

Images via Cambridge Consultants and Matthew Field