Auction could 'lead to better protection of black rhino'

2014-01-13 14:56
Cape Town – Is hunting a rhino ever okay?

This is the question we posed to our readers after a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia fetched US$350 000 (R3.7m) at an auction held by the Dallas Safari Club in the US.  

According to Ben Carter, executive director of the Safari Club, all the money raised would be pumped right back into 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 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.

There are currently only about 4 000 black rhinos in the wild world-wide, and only 1 800 in Namibia.  

This is what our readers had to say:

No, it’s not okay

DerekMain - Hunting animals for pleasure is sick - it's a mental illness that needs to be treated.

Neil Stoffberg - And here we have the majestic black rhino which is endangered! I know what let's kill it!! Epic fail to all those involved!

Curtis Johnson - Why not sell a permit to hunt all the rapist and murderers who are in prison living off tax payers money. Sure that will fetch a pretty penny.

Alan Scott Hodgkinson - Why there has to be a better solution, sounds like a money making excuse to me, when will this stop when there are none left ? Protected should mean Protected.

Leilani de Bod - Disgusting and senseless act of male ego and having too much money. Rather auction Rhino off to someone for promotion of the gene pool... Killing an endangered animal to stuff it up and display it is senseless and stupid!

Leanne Watt Gregoriou - People that hurt and kill animals have a special place reserved for them... In HELL!

Michael Bruin - I disagree with it.

Phanuel Jerusalema Montsho Teffo - de aint much blk rhinos left y dnt dey jst lv de poor rhynos...

It’s complicated 

Ted Clark - I actually support hunting due to the revenue it generates for conservation – without private sector commercial hunting our conservation would battle. I just have a problem with the publicity when celebs end up in media – e.g. the rhino story previously. How do you explain to an uneducated rural inhabitant that they must help preserve the rhino and report poachers that offer them money when big celebs, who have enough money, can hunt the very animals that we try and explain are becoming extinct?

The message they will hear is that if you have enough money you can shoot anything. I am happy for someone to pay millions to shoot a rhino if funds generated help ensure survival of the specie, but there should be a media blackout over this so as not to confuse the uneducated. The fact that it is exposed to the media shows that it is more an ego thing that for the “donation” of funds to the cause of rhino. The same goes for any other critical specie such as the big cats, elephant, etc.

Sure, why not?

chrisX - If the OWNER of that animal wants to sell HIS PROPERTY to the highest bidder then that's his business not yours... (I have never and probably will never hunt btw)

Read more on:    conservation  |  animals  |  rhino poaching  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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