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Dallas Safari Club auctioning off chance to shoot, kill endangered black rhino

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(Updated) The Dallas Safari Club, headquartered out of Texas, is going forward with an auction scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 11 to auction off a chance to win the privilege of hunting, shooting, and killing an endangered black rhino – even though general public sentiment is outraged at the prospect.

The hunting group which will be holding its annual convention this week in Dallas has even received some death threats over the rhino hunt, according to ABC News.

The club today is expected auction off a seven-day trip to the Eastern Cape of South Africa to hunt the black rhino. The trip, valued at $28,000, includes a permit to hunt the endangered animal, which has drawn criticism from some conservation and animal rights activists.

Although the group’s website is experiencing some connectivity issues currently, ABC News shared the Dallas Safari Club’s auction catalogue as stating "This is the ultimate in sport hunting as it is extremely challenging because the Black Rhino has very acute senses and is notoriously aggressive.”

"Hunters are more likely to become the hunted and not the Hunter!"

Although animal rights activists find the prospect of killing a black rhino appalling, the Dallas Safari Club has gone on record as saying that the event is designed to help save the endangered species.

The executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, Ben Carter, said that the hunt will help preserve the black rhino population though modern wildlife management.

" … populations matter; individuals don't," Carter said in a statement released in October.

"By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow."

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia's Black Rhino. The club expects to net anywhere from $250,000 - $1 million from the auction.

The president for the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, said that it would make better sense “for the wildlife enthusiasts to donate money solely for rhino conservation than to kill one of the animals.”

"Rhinos are enormous lumbering animals who confront predators with their horn and physical mass," he said. "

Shooting a rhino is about as difficult as shooting a tank. … In terms of the sportsmanship component, it's totally lacking."

The black rhino population had shrunk to only a few dozen in the 1980s, according to CNN.

Thanks to conservation efforts though, there are approximately 5,000 black rhinos left in the world today.

Jan. 12 update:

A Dallas conservation group sold a rare license to hunt an endangered black rhino in Africa for $350,000 at an auction held Saturday night, stirring outrage among conservationists and leading to death threats against the auction's organizer. ~ USA Today

For more on the Dallas Safari Club's auctioning off the chance to hunt and kill a black rhino, see the video accompanying this article.

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