A club in Texas is giving big game hunters a rare opportunity: to kill an endangered Black Rhinoceros in Africa.
According to the Dallas Observer, an auction hosted by the Dallas Safari Club will feature the chance to travel to Namibia, Africa with the intentions of shooting a Black Rhino. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to conservation efforts, which the Safari Club argues will far outweigh the loss of one of the giant mammals, said to be slowly recovering it’s status as one of the rarest animals on the planet.
In other words, the Dallas Safari Club is helping to save the Black Rhino by allowing one to die at the hands of the highest bidder.
Thanks to special permission from the Namibian government, and cooperation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, the Safari Club hopes to raise upwards of $750,000 in their Black Rhino auction, all of which will be donated directly to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino.
“Black rhinos tend to have a fairly high mortality rate,” Dallas Safari Club Executive Director Ben Carter told the Observer. “Generally speaking, out of a population of 2,000, harvesting three rhinos over a couple or three years has no impact on the health of the rhino herd at all.”
Save the Rhino International puts Black Rhino figures around 5,055, increased from previous yearly accounts. 1,800 of those are believed to reside in Namibia.
The trust fund helps execute population surveys, conduct health checkups and battle against poaching. Black Rhinos are sought after by poachers mainly for their tusks, with uses ranging from ornamental cups to snakebite cures.
While news of the auction has already stirred controversy, Carter is not concerned with the backlash. He’s confident funds raised will achieve the Safari Club’s goals of conservation, education and the protection of hunter’s rights.
The auction will take place during the Dallas Safari Club’s 2014 convention, held at the Dallas Convention Center January 9-12.