Namibia, located along Africa's southwest coast, is the home to 1,800 black rhinos. The species is endangered, and worldwide there are reported to be only 5,055 black rhinos alive; estimated to have been a 96% decrease in the animal's population this past century.
The Safari Club's executive director, Ben Carter, defended the hunting action stating the proceeds of the auction would benefit the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia's Black Rhino.
Animal advocates and wildlife conservation groups were outraged. Because of the endangered status of the black rhino, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Humane Society stated the animals should not be culled.
The Safari Club stated the rhino chosen to be hunted was very old, a non breeding male, who has been extremely aggressive thus threatening the well-being of other wildlife.
According to National Geographic.com, the North American regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Jeff Flocken wrote:
"If an animal like the rare black rhinoceros is worth the most with a price on its head, what possible incentive does this provide range countries and local people to move the species toward recovery when the biggest buck can be made short-term by selling permits to kill them to the highest bidders?"
On the Facebook page of Save the Rhino Trust Namibia, the feelings of many posters echoed through the following words:
"On the wind over arid land comes the sound of survivors. Their stance & look from a bygone era, their movement reflects staccato in action. What will these creatures teach us, what will we learn as humankind looses (sic) the kind and humanness of being. On the wind of Africa these magnificent elders will survive, they will thrive and none thanks to humankind......"
Namibia offers five hunting permits each year. Saturday was the first one sold for 2014.
The rhinoceros has long been hunted and poached for their horns. Sold on the black market for carvings and Asian medicines, is it right to kill one of these animals because it is old?
What do you think?
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