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Permit to hunt endangered African black rhino sells for $350,000

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During a Dallas, Texas auction on Jan. 11, 2014, a permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino was sold for $350,000, according to the Associated Press.

USA Today reports the group that auctioned the permit, the Dallas Safari Club, hoped to garner $1 million for it.

The Safari Club says all proceeds from the auction are being donated to the Nambian government for conservation efforts, reports CNN.

Nevertheless, the Club has been criticized by various animal rights organizations, including the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which believes the permit lets rich hunters buy a adventure that ultimately costs the endangered creature its life.

Jeffrey Flocken with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) told CNN the rhino “…need to be protected, not sold to the highest bidder… It also sends a dangerous message that these iconic and disappearing animals are worth more as dead trophies to be mounted and hung on a wall in a Texas mansion than living in the wild in Africa.”

CNN notes that the Dallas Safari Club, which obtained the hunting permit from the Nambian government, has said it received a number of death threats over the auction, which are now being investigated by the FBI.

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