DALLAS-Seventeen months after DSC’s controversial black rhino auction, the actual hunt ended in Namibia this week when the hunter killed a bull that scientists had identified as an impediment to the survival of its own species.
The old, aggressive, non-breeding rhino was known to charge and kill breeding bulls, as well as cows and calves, decreasing productivity and increasing mortality of the herd.
Removing this specimen will benefit rhinos both biologically and financially.
The $350,000 paid for the permit will go to Namibia to help fund law enforcement efforts to curtail indiscriminate killing by rhino poachers. (Note: It’s unclear whether the funding could be stopped by a recent lawsuit filed by animal-rights group PETA.)
“The hunter invited a CNN crew to accompany him to Namibia to film the hunt, and the experience is now well documented online,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. “We hope people around the world will take the time to absorb the coverage, separate the facts from the emotions, and better understand the vital role of hunting in conservation.”
He added, “Inviting the media shows just how strongly the hunter feels about that topic, and we tip our hat to him for using his personal adventure as a public education tool. This is perhaps the most high profile hunting and conservation story in our lifetime, and I’m glad he took the opportunity to answer our critics.”
Death threats from animal-rights activists poured in following the auction, prompting involvement by the FBI and security teams.
The $350,000 was held in escrow pending U.S. approval of an import permit that would allow the hunter to bring home the taxidermy from his hunt. That permit was recently approved after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists confirmed the biological and financial benefits to rhino populations.
During a public comment period held as part of the agency’s review process, DSC sent a formal letter urging approval. The letter reiterated the science and logic behind the hunt.
Namibia is allowed by international treaties to sell up to five rhino management hunts per year. The DSC auction was the first time a permit was sold outside of the country. In the past, Namibia’s self-sold permits brought far less than $350,000.
About Dallas Safari Club (DSC)
Desert bighorns on an unbroken landscape, stalking Cape buffalo in heavy brush, students discovering conservation. DSC works to guarantee a future for all these and much more. An independent organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. Get involved at www.biggame.org.