Is hunting a rhino ever okay?

2014-01-13 10:36
Cape Town – In November last year, US television presenter and self-styled hardcore huntress, Melissa Bachman, caused global outrage when she posted a photo on Facebook of herself posing with a magnificent maned lion she had shot and killed at Maroi Conservancy in Limpopo.

In light of the widespread critique Bachman’s hunt received, it comes as quite a surprise that now, less than two months later, a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia has fetched US$350 000 (R3.7m) at an auction held by the Dallas Safari Club in the US.  

While the auction was met by similar response from animal rights groups and conservationists, with certain members of the Safari Club even receiving death threats, the fact that it was held in the first place calls into question the authority of conservation heavyweights.

While dedicate influential individuals do join forces with world conservation bodies to protect endangered species, why is support from lawmakers so lacking in this regard?

As Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), pointed out: "This auction is telling the world that an American will pay anything to kill their species." He added that it was, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species.

According to an AP report, Ben Carter, executive director of the Safari Club, has defended the auction, saying that all money raised will go toward protecting the species that has been the target of a widespread poaching scourge, as rhino horn is believed to hold medicinal value in certain cultures.  

He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to 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.

However, considering that only 4 000 black rhinos remain in the wild, world-wide (down from 70 000 in the 1960s) and less than 1 800 in Namibia, one can’t help but feel that culling even one of these rare creatures is making a critical dent in the population.

Talk to us – do you think the fact that an animal is old, aggressive and non-breeding makes it okay to hunt an endangered species? Or is the US Safari Club sensationalising the act, forcing society to take a look at its ugly reflection.

What alternative fate would you suggest for the rhino in question?

Tell us in the comment section below, share your thoughts on our Facebook page or tweet us at @News24Travel. You can also send us an email to info@news24travel.com  
Read more on:    animals  |  rhino poaching  |  travel  |  travel south africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel

 
/News

#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.