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Fury as rhino-hunting permit sold

Fury as rhino-hunting permit sold


Reuters | 13 January, 2014 00:02

Rhino Buddies Black rhino post

A permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia was auctioned for $350000 in Dallas, in the US, at the weekend.File photo Image by: Vassil/ Wikipedia.

A permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia was auctioned for $350000 in Dallas, in the US, at the weekend.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to protect the endangered animals, despite protests from animal rights groups that saw the sale as immoral pseudo-conservation.

The licence allows for the killing of a single, post-breeding bull, with Namibian wildlife officials on hand for the hunt to make sure an “appropriate” animal is selected.

The Dallas Safari Club had been expecting the permit to bring $250000 to $1-million at the auction.

The hunt will provide the Namibian government with hard cash in the expensive battle to thwart poachers, it said.

“Biologists in Namibia were hoping that a US auction would produce a record amount for rhino conservation, and that’s exactly what happened,” said club executive director Ben Carter. “These bulls no longer contribute to the growth of the population and are in a lot of ways detrimental to the growth of the population because black rhino are very aggressive and territorial.”

More than 75000 people signed an online petition at to stop the sale . There are about 25000 rhino in Africa – 20000 white and 5000 black – with most in South Africa. Namibia, with 1750 rhino, is one of the leading habitats .

Both countries allow for a few, carefully regulated hunts under internationally approved guidelines each year. Rhino protection has grown more expensive because of a surge in poaching by crime syndicates to feed demand in places such as Vietnam, where horn is used as a traditional medicine and sold at prices higher than those of gold.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the US, said the group objected to trophy hunting and believed it was immoral to raise cash for conservation by selling permits to kill endangered species.

Last year 950 rhino were killed by poachers in South Africa. In Namibia, only 10 animals have been killed since 2006, according to Tom Milliken, leader of the elephant and rhino programme for the international wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.


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