Back in the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed the earth from Africa to Asia, but their numbers have fallen drastically over the years, with just around 29,000 surviving in the wild today.
Already this year, 746 rhinos have been killed by poachers, which is up from last year’s 668.
Out of the estimated 29,000 still alive, around 5,055 make up the black rhino species which is currently listed as “critically endangered.”
Yet, with all these facts readily available, the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) (a group of trophy hunters) thinks it can help “save” the endangered black rhino by auctioning off the chance to shoot one of these majestic animals. That’s right, shoot. In one word — RIDICULOUS.
According to the Dallas Observer, the DSC received a “special permit” from the government of Namibia and a go-ahead from the U.S’s very own Fish and Wildlife Service to hunt one of Namibia’s 1,800 remaining black rhinos.
The hunt is supposed to be auctioned off at the DSC’s big annual convention in January 2014 and is estimated to raise $750,000, which will apparently go to Namibia’s Game Products Trust Fund.
“Black rhinos tend to have a fairly high mortality rate. Generally speaking, out of a population of 2,000, harvesting three rhinos over a couple or three years has no impact on the health of the rhino herd at all,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter to the Dallas Observer.
For years, the Safari Club has supported this kind of “conservation” activity whereby they claim that through hunting, wildlife can be protected.
To call this type of activity a way to “save” the black rhino, or any other species for that matter, is pitiful, and is essentially a huge slap in the face to all anti-poaching efforts underway and to the wild park rangers who risk their lives protecting endangered species from the ever-growing threat of poachers.
So $750,000 is going to a conservation trust fund to save the black rhino, yet the DSC is shooting one of the fund’s very recipients? WTF?
Show your outrage at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “green light” for the DSC’s hunt by contacting them here. We need to make it known that this type of activity and behavior is not welcomed and is grossly counterproductive. Find the facts to support your argument here and here.
Images source: Yoky / Wikipedia Commons