A hunting club in Texas has announced plans to auction a permit to shoot a critically endangered black rhino in Namibia. The Dallas Safari Club will auction the licence, which it obtained from the government of Namibia, at its annual convention in January.
The club said “every dime” of the selling price, which is expected to be up to $1 million, would go towards conservation in a “first of its kind fundraiser” intended to help preserve the species. In a statement it said the US Fish and Wildlife Service had promised full cooperation with the successful bidder.
However, the Humane Society of the United States called the auction “disturbing” and said it would try to stop the hunter returning their trophy to the United States. A spokesman told AFP: “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.”
According to the International Rhino Foundation there are only 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild. They have been hunted to near extinction, mainly by poachers seeking their horns which are used in alternative medicine in South East Asia.
Ben Carter, the hunting club’s executive director, said the permit would be for an older male rhino in Mangetti National Park, adding that the money would be “enormously meaningful in Namibia’s fight to ensure the future of its black rhino populations.”