Animal Welfare
2:54 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Texas Club Auctioning Off Chance To Shoot Endangered Black Rhino

A North Texas club’s auction of a rare permit that will allow the winner to shoot an endangered black rhino is drawing criticism from international conservationists.

The Dallas Safari Club has obtained a rare permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and permission from the African nation of Namibia to shoot one of five endangered black rhinos.

Attorney John J. Jackson III is a member of the club and helped orchestrate the auction that he said will go to protecting the animal.

"100 percent of the revenue is going to rhino conservation in the Republic of Namibia," Jackson said.

Jackson said the five rhinos being hunted are older males who he calls troublemakers that are no longer to reproduce and who kill members of their own herd. He said they are hoping to make $1 million from the auction, but not everyone agrees the Dallas Safari Club’s conservation tactics.

"They’re creating a bidding frenzy to say who has the opportunity to kill one of them before they are gone," said Jeff Flocken, the Nort American director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "As we see with other animals that creating this idea of scarcity equals value is never going to benefit that species and does not provide incentives for recovering the species for local people."

Flocken said it would be better to move the older males to a wildlife refuge to encourage eco-tourism.   Flocken said they, along with other groups, are petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revoke the group’s permit.