Texas hunters to auction permit to kill black rhino

Oct 25, 2013 by Kerry Sheridan
A wild male black rhino named Sambu after it was darted from a helicopter in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya on August 28, 2013

A Texas hunting club said Friday it aims to raise up to a million dollars for endangered black rhinoceroses by auctioning off a permit to kill one in Namibia.

"First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino," said Ben Carter, executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, which is hosting the auction early next year.

Black rhinos are internationally considered an endangered species and the World Wildlife Fund says about 4,800 are alive in the African wild.

Carter said in a statement sent to AFP that the Namibian government "selected" his hunting club to auction a black rhino hunting permit for one of its national parks.

The permit is expected "to sell for at least $250,000, possibly up to $1 million. The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia's Black Rhino will receive 100 percent of the sale price," said the statement.

Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinos out of the southern African nation's herd population of 1,795 animals.

A single permit issued to a US hunter in 2009 to kill a black rhino fetched $175,000 for the Namibian Game Products Trust Fund which pays for conservation efforts, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tim Van Norman, chief of the branch of permits at the FWS said the US government has not yet issued any permit to the Dallas Safari Club to return a rhino's carcass to the United States.

The individual hunter who is identified as the winner of the auction would first have to pass certain background checks and the animal chosen for the hunt would have to be approved as being beneficial to the conservation of the species for the US government to allow the trophy to come back inside US borders, he said.

Van Norman said Namibia has determined that older black rhino males that have already produced offspring and are in reproductive decline are the best targets for hunting.

"Black rhinos are very territorial so you will have an older male that is keeping younger males from reproducing," he explained.

"By removing these older males from the population, you get an increase in the production of calves. Younger males are able to impregnate the females that are in that area so you get more offspring than from some of these older males."

The DSC said the auction would take place at its annual convention January 9-12, 2014 in Dallas.

The winning hunter will have to hire a guide to lead the hunt and will be accompanied by Namibian wildlife officials.

Limited hunting is a conservation strategy that is supported by US , the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species—all of which list rhinos as endangered, according to the Dallas hunters' group.

The Humane Society of the United States described the news of the auction as "disturbing" and vowed to campaign against the issuance of a US permit to return the trophy.

"The world is seeing a concerted effort to preserve the very few black rhinos and other rhinos who are dodging poachers' bullets and habitat destruction," said Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS.

"The last thing they need are wealthy elites from foreign lands coming in to kill them for their heads."

He also questioned the ethics of wealthy, competitive trophy hunters who say they want to kill an animal in the name of .

"Shooting a black rhino in the wild is about as difficult as shooting a parked car," he said.

"If these are multimillionaires and they want to help rhinos, they can give their money to help . They don't need to accompany their cash transfer with a high caliber bullet," he said.

Explore further: Over 100 rhinos poached in S.Africa in past month

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US bars sale, trade of white rhino horns

Sep 10, 2013

The last remaining species of rhinoceros that is not endangered will receive new US protection due to an intensifying poaching crisis, federal wildlife officials said Tuesday.

Asian rhino conference hailed as major step forward

Oct 04, 2013

Environmentalists on Friday hailed measures including tough anti-poaching initiatives to help boost the dwindling population of Asian rhinos agreed at an international conference in Indonesia.

Recommended for you

UN biodiversity meet commits to double funding

Oct 17, 2014

A UN conference on preserving the earth's dwindling resources wrapped up Friday with governments making a firm commitment to double biodiversity aid to developing countries by 2015.

Climate change alters cast of winter birds

Oct 17, 2014

Over the past two decades, the resident communities of birds that attend eastern North America's backyard bird feeders in winter have quietly been remade, most likely as a result of a warming climate.

New data about marsh harrier distribution in Europe

Oct 17, 2014

The use of ringing recoveries —a conventional method used to study bird migration— in combination with more modern techniques such as species distribution modelling and stable isotope analysis helps to ...

User comments : 24

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Humpty
1.7 / 5 (17) Oct 25, 2013
Sarcasm aside... No - full sarcam mode.

Yeah let the hunter take on the rhino with a broom stick.

That is fair.
RealScience
4 / 5 (4) Oct 25, 2013
@Humpty - That's unfair in the other direction - it favors the Rhino as much a gun favors the hunter.
Fair would be to let the hunter find some flint and make a spear, and take on the rhino with that. Unless the hunter is really good at ancient arts, my money would be on the rhino. But it wouldn't be long odds, as our ancestors did kill rhinos with spears (although usually probably multiple hunters to one rhino).
Sinister1811
3.1 / 5 (27) Oct 25, 2013
"Shooting a black rhino in the wild is about as difficult as shooting a parked car," he said.


So can't they just shoot a parked car instead? I don't understand, leave the rhinos alone.
Thrasymachus
3.1 / 5 (9) Oct 26, 2013
Population management of wild animals often involves culling. And it looks like there's a sound justification for culling older male black rhinos in order to help grow the species, in spite of their endangered status. If selling the right to perform that culling can make a lot of money to help preserve that species and prevent poaching, then it's the right thing to do.
Sinister1811
2.8 / 5 (28) Oct 26, 2013
Endangered animals don't need culling. And, in what way, does culling save the species from extinction? We already have poachers shooting them for their horns. That's like saying that chopping down trees will save the forest.
Sinister1811
3.3 / 5 (26) Oct 26, 2013
Sorry, didn't read the part about the older males preventing the younger ones reproducing. Must've skipped over it. I guess if one older rhino can make enough money to save the rest. Then it's probably worthwhile.
alfie_null
3.6 / 5 (8) Oct 26, 2013
Persuade me that anyone involved in this actually cares about rhinoceros conservation. From the potential bidders all the way through to the purported conservation agencies in Namibia.

Saw some video clips of that Dallas Safari Club director describing the imagined experience. As if he were describing having sex.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (13) Oct 26, 2013
Filth from start to end.

CapitalismPrevails
1.2 / 5 (17) Oct 26, 2013
All you guys act like this Rhinoceros is some kind of animal character from a Disney animated movie like Bambi. Who cares what the intentions are from the people involved. What matters are the results! This is the free market at work. It exploits scarcity to make a profit and creating a vested interest in continuing that profit. IE making sure there's more Rhinos. The same happens with beef cattle and all other agricultural animals. There are no perfect solutions. There are only trade offs. It's a matter of finding the best trade offs. Leave your perfectionist standards behind.

Capitalism! It works! :D
meerling
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 26, 2013
Those 5 rhinos are going to be killed is a given. The idea that you can get some rich nut to pay for it through the nose, is just a bonus. Remember, first he has to pay, then he needs to pass the appropriate security checks even before he gets to go there.
Once he's there, on his own dime, he has to pay for a guide, and will be accompanied by the wildlife officials that will indicate which rhino he can shoot. Heck, shooting a parked car you own would be more sport, and cheaper, but then again, I'm not a rich hunting freak that gets excited by killing a big animal from a safe distance.
My vote is for them to go for it. If it works well for the conservation project, maybe they should auction off a few more of their culls.
Rupyro
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 26, 2013
I don't get it. Why do they have to kill it to remove it from the herd. Zoos pay up to 250k for rhinos. They should send it to a zoo instead of killing it. Zoos further conservation efforts by putting a face on these endangered species for those of us who would only see them in books. Which completely negates the need for issuing 5 passes to kill them. This is just a loophole rich people created to do whatever they want. And then be called heroes and feel good about themselves
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 26, 2013
Population management of wild animals often involves culling. And it looks like there's a sound justification for culling older male black rhinos in order to help grow the species, in spite of their endangered status. If selling the right to perform that culling can make a lot of money to help preserve that species and prevent poaching, then it's the right thing to do.
Culling can also involve capture and relocation yes?

I wonder how much they could raise by auctioning a permit to shoot the hunter? Lots of wealthy and committed animal lovers out there.
http://www.popsci...ollision

RealScience
3 / 5 (4) Oct 26, 2013
@Rupyro: Setting aside the cruelty of condemning an animal used to being the boss of tens of squares kilometers to the limits confines of a zoo, an alpha-male rhino is pretty aggressive for a zoo to handle, so it's not good for the zoo either.
Thrasymachus
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 26, 2013
@Rupyro: Setting aside the cruelty of condemning an animal used to being the boss of tens of squares kilometers to the limits confines of a zoo, an alpha-male rhino is pretty aggressive for a zoo to handle, so it's not good for the zoo either.

Not to mention the stresses on the animal of capturing it and keeping it sedated for the trip to the zoo. A certain proportion of them are gonna die on the trip anyway. Besides, most zoos have a couple of black rhinos already. They're endangered, but it's not like there's only three or four left in the whole world. There's thousands of them.
Estevan57
2.4 / 5 (20) Oct 26, 2013
The rhino to be hunted should be replaced with a Tea-Party House of Representatives member from Texas. There seems to be plenty, and they won't be missed.
komone
3 / 5 (4) Oct 26, 2013
I believe that the so-called hunter should provide not just some heap of money but also a written justification of the reason why they wish to kill, and that justification should be posted publicly. I'd be interested to see how someone could justify such a barbaric act and still commit themselves to publicly carrying out an execution of a defenseless animal.
kummerspeck
5 / 5 (3) Oct 26, 2013
When the South African Army moved into Kruger to protect Rhinos two years ago poaching INCREASED by 30%. Practical solutions are what is needed to save Rhinos. Legalize the trade in Rhino horn, allow them to be farmed and have their horns removed under anaesthetic. The Rhinos will survive and the Asians who believe something akin to fingernail clippings will cure cancer will continue to pay as if they were buying cocaine. If these guys really donate a million to conservation in Africa, they're doing more good than evil.
Shootist
1.3 / 5 (15) Oct 26, 2013
.50 caliber Barrett.

Boom! Head shot.

Practical solutions to save Rhinos? Use the Ducks Unlimited model. It works.
RobL
1 / 5 (12) Oct 27, 2013
I don't get it. Why do they have to kill it to remove it from the herd. Zoos pay up to 250k for rhinos. They should send it to a zoo instead of killing it. Zoos further conservation efforts by putting a face on these endangered species for those of us who would only see them in books. Which completely negates the need for issuing 5 passes to kill them. This is just a loophole rich people created to do whatever they want. And then be called heroes and feel good about themselves


Your also assuming that the caring conservation minded Hunter thats pays out a million more than any of us probably will towards these beauties, has to kill just because he/she can.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 27, 2013
practical solutions
Drones and AI will make automated tracking and elimination of poachers possible. Animal physiology can be monitored remotely via implants to detect signs of stress. The horns themselves can be impregnated with poisons or substances which will render consumers sterile.
farmed
-vs wild-caught? They're pretty much farmed right now. Poachers will poach the farms. There will still be a premium for free-ranging animals.

Poaching won't stop until the cause of it is addressed - the religions which force populations to grow beyond the means to support themselves.
Aaron1980
1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 27, 2013
Rhino steaks and burgers for $500 a pound?

There's got to be a market for those old Rhinos holding back reproduction
ForFreeMinds
1.5 / 5 (16) Oct 27, 2013
Persuade me that anyone involved in this actually cares about rhinoceros conservation.


Does anyone care about conserving cattle? Yes, they do, because they earn a living from it. Allowing hunters to fund efforts to to produce rinos for hunting, produces rinos. Removing that funding, leaving their lives up to the officials charged with protecting them - officials who are often the poachers in countries where a government job allows you to steal to earn a living.
qquax
3.3 / 5 (6) Oct 27, 2013
Next up: Monster Truck rally to raise awareness for climate change.
Neinsense99
2.1 / 5 (15) Oct 27, 2013
All you guys act like this Rhinoceros is some kind of animal character from a Disney animated movie like Bambi. Who cares what the intentions are from the people involved. What matters are the results! This is the free market at work. It exploits scarcity to make a profit and creating a vested interest in continuing that profit. IE making sure there's more Rhinos. The same happens with beef cattle and all other agricultural animals. There are no perfect solutions. There are only trade offs. It's a matter of finding the best trade offs. Leave your perfectionist standards behind.

Capitalism! It works! :D

When you are abducted and sold into forced labor in a brick factory, be proud of your new role in the continuation of an old capitalist tradition.