The FBI is looking into death threats made against a Dallas hunting club that plans to auction a permit to hunt an endangered black rhino in Africa.
This Saturday, the Dallas Safari Club will auction a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia as a way to raise funds to protect the endangered black rhino species. The club's members and sponsors have received multiple death threats from individuals opposed to hunting.
"The FBI is aware of the threats," FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont told Fox News. "If a violation of federal law is determined, additional action or investigation as necessary will take place."
Environmental and animal rights groups have slammed the black rhino hunt calling it irresponsible and reckless.
But the club's executive director, Ben Carter, says the auction is intended to save the species. All of the funds raised from the auction to go towards protecting the animal.
"It takes money for these animals to exist. A lot of people don't recognize that," Carter told NPR. "This is one way to raise a lot of money at one time. That can make a huge impact on the future of the species."
The hunt is also based on a wildlife management practice that's commonly used by Namibian wildlife management to protect the future of the species. The permit will be for a male black rhino selected by Namibia's Department of Wildlife that is too old to breed and too aggressive to remain in the herd. Culling the herd is a practice the department already uses to protect the black rhino population in Namibia.
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