A hunter from Texas has caused outrage by winning a controversial auction that gave him the right to pay $350,000 to travel to Africa to hunt and kill a black rhino. Black rhinos are on the endangered species list. The Texas hunter, Corey Knowlton, won the auction in January 2014 and told reporters that he made the bid to travel to Africa to kill a black rhino to help keep the local rhino herd safe. The male rhino he killed was said to be well past breeding age, extremely aggressive, and had already killed several other rhinos, both adults and calves, making him a threat to the species.
Knowlton said that the hunt also brings more awareness to the plight of the endangered black rhinos, as there are less than 5,000 of them left in the world. They are sought after by poachers, who want them for their horns, which are believed by many to have medicinal value, despite scientific evidence that they do not.
Bid to Kill a Black Rhino Helps Preserve, Protect Others
While some organizations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature condemn Knowlton’s hunt to travel to Africa to kill a black rhino, others support this method of what is called conservation hunting. In this type of venture, hunters pay money to kill a specific animal and the funds all go towards the conservation efforts to protect the endangered species. In fact, the money in this hunt to kill a black rhino will help to hire about 3,000 field rangers to help keep the remaining animals safe from poachers, as well as to enforce existing rules and regulations.
Knowlton got a license from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism after paying his money to travel to Africa to kill a black rhino, as well as getting authorization to take it back to the US by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. There were also government officials, as well as CNN reporters on hand during the hunt to kill a black rhino to make sure the correct animal was killed.
This is not the first time that a special license has been awarded to allow someone to hunt and kill a black rhino. Namibia has allowed an average of five of these special licenses to be given each year to kill a specific animal and all of the money went to help support conservation.