The African black rhinos pictured above are two of about 4,000 remaining of the species, which numbered around 70,000 in the 1960′s and are down at least in part because poachers have coveted their horns. In an attempt to raise funds to preserve the animal’s existence, extraordinary measures have been taken — as the AP reports, the right to hunt one of them in Namibia was auctioned off by the Dallas Safari Club for $350,000.
Ben Carter, executive director of the Safari Club, defended the auction. He said all money raised will go toward rhino conservation efforts. He also said the rhino that the winner will hunt is old, male and non-breeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.
That doesn’t really sound like such an invigorating challenge, and activists have otherwise questioned the logic behind the whole idea:
“This auction is telling the world that an American will pay anything to kill their species,” Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based IFAW, said earlier this week. “This is, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species.”
What he said.
[AP via Dallas Morning News]
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