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.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Michael M.
Michael M3 years ago

My comment here appears to have been cut off; here is the rest:

. . ."are applying through the false and fraudulent assertion that their actions in taking/killing, importation and display of these animals, will enhance the survival of the species involved.

I cite
Rarity Value and Species Extinction: The Anthropogenic Allee Effect
Franck Courchamp ,
Elena Angulo ,
Philippe Rivalan ,
Richard J Hall ,
Laetitia Signoret,
Leigh Bull,
Yves Meinard
in PLOS Biology November 28, 2006 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040415
showing specific examples that Collectinos, trophy hunting,luxury items, ecotourism, and other human activities are shown to be dangerously deleterious to the continuance of endangered species;

and ask that you categorically deny these and all such permits.

Thank you,"

Michael M.
Michael M3 years ago

Here is the content of my comment requesting denial of importaation permit, and scientific support for my request:

Dr. Tapia,
I wish to register a comment asking that you deny permit to several applicants, as their use of USFWS Endangered Species special permits is clearly fraudulent in intent:

Each of these applicants,
Applicant: Corey Knowlton, Royse City, TX; PRT-33291B

The applicant requests a permit to import the sport-hunted trophy of one male black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) taken from the wild in Namibia, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.
Applicant: Michael Luzich, Las Vegas, NV; PRT-33743B

The applicant requests a permit to import the sport-hunted trophy of one male black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) taken from the wild in Namibia, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.
Multiple Applicants

The following applicants each request a permit to import the sport-hunted trophy of one male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus) culled from a captive herd maintained under the management program of the Republic of South Africa, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.
Applicant: Denis Ksarnosky, Burlington, WI; PRT-47740B; Applicant: Robert Patton, Fort Worth, TX; PRT-46007B; Applicant: Austin Pipkin, Houston, TX; PRT-48390B; Applicant: Albert Seeno, Concord, CA; PRT-46538B; Applicant: Don Byrne, Montgomery, TX; PRT-47538B

is applying through the false and fraudulent asserti

Michael M.
Michael M3 years ago

HERE is where YOU can comment usefully against the importation by the last two rhino-killers, as well as several killers of endangered Bonteboks, attempting to bring their dead "trophies" home to impress one another and create further pressure to kill the last ones.


this one must be addressed before December 8 2014, if you aare to do something substantive.

Please comment against it!

Spencer Young
Spencer Young3 years ago

Asses should never kill a Rhino to save a Rhino

Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan3 years ago

This is ridicolous!!! Signed.

Carrie-Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing :)

K H.
Kate H3 years ago

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

Jeramie D.
Jeramie D4 years ago

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.

Teresa Garcia
Teresa GarcĂ­a4 years ago