American hunter heads to Africa for controversial $350 000 Namibian rhino slaughter
An American hunter is expected to travel to Namibia next month to kill an endangered black rhino after the country’s hunting season opens. Last year, Corey Knowlton offered US$350 000 to win himself the bid for the rhino kill in an auction which was offered by the Dallas Safari Club (DSC).
According to National Geographic, the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service is now grappling with the decision on whether Knowlton should be granted a license to bring the rhino’s head back as a trophy.
Since trade in any rhino parts is restricted by international law, the hunter must get a special permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service to import the trophy. The permit requires showing that the animal was killed in the name of conservation and that bringing it home also helps that cause.
The DSC says all proceeds from the auctioned permit will go to support the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino though trophy-hunting opponents criticise this reason, explaining that the idea of killing endangered animals to help save them sends mixed signals that the animal is worth more dead than alive.
There are an estimated 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild. Soon after winning the bid last year, Knowlton said his hunt is motivated by a desire to help conservation, telling CNN: "It's not an egotistical thing, it's a belief in conservation from me. I'm a member of a group of people who care enough to put their money where their mouth is."
Defending his love of hunting further, he told WFAA news in Texas: "I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino. Whether I go over there (in Namibia) and shoot it or not shoot it, it's beyond the point."
Source: Mail and Guardian/Online