A Permit to Hunt a Critically Endangered Black Rhino Just Sold for $350,000

Proceeds will supposedly go toward conservation of the species

Black Rhino
A black rhino in Tanzania. Photo:

An anonymous trophy hunter just purchased the right to shoot one of the world's 4,000 remaining black rhinos for $350,000. The permit, which was auctioned off last weekend by the Dallas Safari Club, was billed as a conservation fundraiser, but that hasn't stopped protests, including death threats issued to some of the club's members. Here's CBC News

The Safari Club's executive director, Ben Carter, has defended the auction, saying all money raised will go toward protecting the species. He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.

Old and male or not, conservationists told CBC News that no critically endangered animals of any description should be allowed to be hunted and killed—and the auction sends the message that "killing endangered species is OK."

Each year, Namibia—where the hunt will take place—issues five permits for hunting and killing a black rhino. This was the first time an auction has taken place outside of the country's borders, CBC reports. Previously, the most one of these permits sold for was $223,000. 

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