Even though the black rhino auction winner revealed himself, the questions will continue to be asked.
Dallas Safari Club auctioned off a rare permit that would allow the winning hunter to harvest a single rhino from Namibia.
Due to the endangered nature of the species, controversy was running hot on the black rhino auction issue for months leading up to the auction. Still, despite that controversy – and despite the fact that Safari Club members were receiving death threats against themselves and their families – the auction proceeded as planned.
The club had anticipated that the black rhino permit would fetch anywhere between $250,000 and $1 million, and while the winning bid was on the lower end of that spectrum – at $350,000 – the auction will still allow the Dallas Safari Club to make a hefty donation to the black rhino conservation efforts in Namibia.
In the wake of the auction, it appears that none of the threats against the Dallas Safari Club have been attempted or carried out. (One particularly fearsome threat vowed the murder of a club member in exchange for the life of the rhino that will be taken with the auction permit.) However, despite the fact that the Dallas Safari Club auction is now in the rearview, discussion about the ethics of the auction – and of hunting endangered species in general – has continued at a fever pitch.
One reason that the Dallas Safari Club auction has stayed in the headlines this week is that the hunter who posted the winning bid for the black rhino has been revealed. His name is Corey Knowlton, and he is an active hunter who has reportedly participated in the hunting of all manner of different species, across the world.
In addition to his own hunting, Knowlton works for the website Hunting Consortium, operating as a hunting consultant who helps clients to plan hunting and fishing escapades all over the globe. Whether Knowlton purchased the permit for a client with particularly deep pockets or intends on using it himself has not yet been made clear.
However, whether or not Knowlton ends up taking the permit for himself and using it to kill a black rhino in Namibia, he has still responded publicly to all of the controversy that has circulated around his high-profile purchase.
On his Facebook page, Knowlton wrote that he was “considering all sides” of the black rhino hunting argument, and that we was “looking forward to more educated discussion regarding the ongoing conservation effort for the Black Rhino.” He also echoed earlier arguments in support of the permit auction, stating that the rhino hunt would be staunchly regulated and would only target older male rhinos that are past their breeding potential and represent a threat to the rest of their herd thanks to increasingly aggressive behavior.
Many organizations are still speaking out against the hunting of the black rhino, not least of which is the hacking group known as Anonymous.
The organization is reportedly targeting hunting websites all across the net, and have gone as far as to call hunters “cold hearted soulless zombies” who “cause horrific suffering to animals, both common, vulnerable, and critically endangered species.”