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Dallas Safari Club Wants to Save Black Rhinos, So it’s Decided to Kill One

Dallas Safari Club Wants to Save Black Rhinos, So it’s Decided to Kill One

There’s no disputing that black rhinos are in serious trouble. Despite conservation efforts, sophisticated poaching operations continue to threaten their numbers in Africa, which have dwindled to little more than 5,000.

The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has come up with what it believes is a solution to help save the species. In the name of conservation, DSC announced that, during its January 2014 convention, it plans to auction off a special permit that will give the winner a chance to kill one of Namibia’s 1,800 black rhinos. The DSC has obtained permission from both the Namibian government and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the permit.

“The whole model of wildlife conservation, of sustainable-use conservation, is that any resource, if it has a value, it will stay there, it will continue to flourish,” DSC Executive Director Ben Carter told the Dallas Observer.

Carter expects the permit will go for $750,000 and that killing one black rhino can be justified by donating the money it raises to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino.

Unfortunately, giving a species economic value is exactly what got rhinos into the predicament they’re in, in the first place. Rhino horns have a high value on the black market, particularly in Southeast Asia, as ornaments and medicine, even though science has proven they have no actual medicinal benefit. According to Save the Rhino, poaching of black rhinos for their horns has caused a 96 percent decline in their numbers from 65,000 individuals in 1970 to just 2,300 in 1993. Their numbers have risen slightly since then, but they’re still critically endangered.

When asked why the group won’t do a photo safari instead, Carter said it’s because people don’t pay for that.

While trophy hunting brings in one large sum at once, the total is small compared to the revenue ecotourists and wildlife enthusiasts continuously generate. Namibia does promote ecotourism, and tourists who take advantage leave what they find for others to enjoy, instead of permanently removing what would otherwise be an attraction that can be seen over and over again and benefit local communities year-round.

Some areas are taking advantage of the benefits of ecotourism over hunting. Zambia recently announced plans to ban the hunting of big cats because the government concluded that they are worth more alive than dead. Zambia and Botswana will be focusing on ecotourism instead of hunting, which is good news for big cats and bad news for trophy hunters.

The fact that the FWS will allow someone to bring home a trophy also flies in the face of true conservation efforts. The agency already came under fire earlier this year for allowing a hunter to import a trophy from a black rhino for the first time in 33 years, which raised concerns from conservationists about the precedent it would set.

The move also raised concerns that people would stop supporting conservation funds with donations if anyone who shows up with enough money and a gun can kill a species they’ve been fighting to protect.

If you oppose trophy hunting under the guise of conservation, take action by signing the Care2 petition. Tell the FWS that killing rhinos to save rhinos is a ridiculous and unnecessary practice.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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437 comments

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5:20AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

signed, thanks for sharing :)

8:34AM PDT on Apr 14, 2014

I don't really get how killing it would be a good thing...

10:30AM PST on Jan 11, 2014

Are you kidding me???? THis makes me so mad it has ruined my day. Stop this and stop this now. Our animals deserve so much better than this. Shame on anyone having anything to do with this wickedness.

2:38PM PST on Dec 15, 2013

CRAZYNNESS!!!!!!

1:36AM PST on Nov 30, 2013

RIDICULOUS

8:47PM PST on Nov 29, 2013

Namibia and Canada are the two countries in the world that have been made infamous for their vicious bloody massacres of seals. Namibia, just like Canada, is a renegade nation run by greedy tyrants

8:02AM PST on Nov 7, 2013

To Andrew: I would be very careful of believing what is written in a "science" magazine. This activity is catering to the barbaric sport of trophy hunting, which has great appeal to (mostly) men who have to show off how tough they are. To kill an animal, particularly one that is so endangered, is like creating a lottery to kill a child to raise money in order to feed other children. What a lame excuse for the psychos out there! These game farms present a list of rules for the hunters: no fences to show in photos, no bloody mouth showing from the killed animal. Little, if any of the money goes to conservation. It is a lucrative business that supports owners and staff in style, complete with Mercedes and much money spent to tour and promote. They attend gun shows, particularly in the US where it has long been a gun culture, highest murder rate in the G20, one of the highest in the world.

3:52AM PST on Nov 7, 2013

I don't think this article addresses the full story. The safari club isn't just wanting to kill any rhino. I read in a science magazine that there is one aggressive male who is past his breeding prime and is not allowing other males to mate, and is even killing those other males. Killing this one aggressive male could save the species. I think it's a logical sacrifice. It's time to use our brains, as well as our hearts when saving a species.

6:06PM PST on Nov 4, 2013

IT'S SO BAD.

2:34AM PST on Nov 3, 2013

Total w*nk%rs.

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