DALLAS (AP) — Hunt the black rhino to save the black rhino.
That’s the Dallas Safari Club’s approach to a fundraiser for efforts to protect the endangered species. The group hopes to raise more than $200,000 Saturday by auctioning off the right to shoot and kill a black rhinoceros in the African nation of Namibia.
But the auction has drawn howls from critics, including wildlife and animal rights groups, and the FBI earlier this week said it was investigating death threats against members of the club.
Ben Carter, executive director of the Safari Club, defended the auction. He said all money raised will go toward rhino conservation efforts. He also said the rhino that the winner will hunt is old, male and nonbreeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.
Carter added that wildlife experts say culling a herd is an acceptable habitat management practice.