Texas Hunting Club Auctions a Permit to Hunt Endangered Black Rhino

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

A Texas hunting group is set to auction a permit to shoot and kill one of the most endangered animals in the world — a Black Rhino from the government of the Republic of Namibia, according to reports from ABC.

The Dallas Safari Club, an international organization of hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, claim that their goal is actually to save the rhinos, of which there are approximately 5,055.

“First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino,” said Ben Carter, the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, in a statement. “There is a biological reason for this hunt, and it’s based on a fundamental premise of modern wildlife management: populations matter; individuals don’t. By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow.”

The group said 100 percent of the proceeds made from the sale of the permit, estimated to be auctioned off for $250,000 to $1 million, will go towards the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino.

But conservation and animal-protection groups say that the club’s claim that the hunt will actually benefit the species was based on faulty logic, according to ABC.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), disagrees with the premise that killing one of the endangered animals equates to “saving” them.

“The first rule of protecting a rare species is to limit the human [related] killing,” said Pacelle. “Rhinos are enormous lumbering animals who confront predators with their horn and physical mass.”

“Shooting a rhino is about as difficult as shooting a tank ... In terms of the sportsmanship component it’s totally lacking,” Pacelle said, adding that the Humane Society is going to petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service in an effort to keep them from issuing an additional permit to the Dallas Safari Club that would allow the hunter of the rhino to bring back the rhino carcass.


The Dallas Safari Club issued a statement, “9 Essential Facts About the Dallas Safari Club’s Rhino Hunt Permit Auction.” Here are four extracted points of justification for the planned auction. The link to the entire statement is provided below:

- Scientific support for limited rhino hunting is based on biologist consensus that…old non-breeding bulls can be territorial, aggressive and population limiting, often charging and killing younger bulls, cows and even calves. Removing these individuals can lead to greater survival of other rhinos and, in turn, greater abundance of the species.”

- Namibia has never before sold a black rhino-hunting permit outside of its borders. Permits typically are sold to hunt operators within the country, who in turn re-sell the permits to clients from around the world. Generally, American hunters have been less interested in these hunts because of an historic ban on importing the trophies into the US.

- A US-based auction of a black rhino-hunting permit, with promised cooperation from the federal government, is unprecedented. But importing a hunted rhino trophy to the US has happened before. In April 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued the first Endangered Species Act import permit for a hunter-taken black rhino. The permit was for an old, aggressive, non-breeding bull taken in Waterberg Plateau National Park in Namibia in 2009. This hunt removed an animal that was counterproductive to herd growth and generated $175,000 for rhino conservation efforts.

- The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino will receive 100 percent of the sale price.

The auction is scheduled during annual Dallas Safari Club convention in January of next year, ABC reports.

Essential Facts About the Dallas Safari Club’s Rhino Hunt Permit Auction :

Sources: ABC News, Ammoland