A rhino hunter is receiving death threats for helping organize an auction that will allow a "lucky" winner to kill black rhino in Africa. On Jan. 14, eCanadaNow reported that the Dallas Safari Club chairman, Ben Carter, is feeling the heat for his acceptance of what sounds like animal cruelty. Carter has defended the auction and the idea behind "legally" killing rhinos in Namibia, but a lot of people disagree with his beliefs.
"They 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," explained Jeffrey Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The rhino hunter's death threats started coming in when people learned about the auction (which took place this weekend) and what the winning bidder will be awarded (a permit from the Namibian government allowing the person to hunt and kill rhinos). With just over 5,000 black rhinos left in the world (according to the rhinos conservation group), killing any of them just for "fun" seems like a terrible idea. However, Carter says that killing these rhinos is this sort of controlled way (controlled in that people know it's coming) will actually increase conservation efforts. Not to mention that money raised in the auction will go directly to conservation efforts.
And now as the auction is over (it fetched $350,000), people are furious. According to the report, people have threatened Carter's kids and really turned up the heat in this debate.
The rhino hunter receiving death threats doesn't see anything wrong with raising money to protect black rhinos -- and if some have to die along the way? Well he doesn't see a problem with that either.
Here is a statement from Ben Carter (via The New York Daily News).
"First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino. 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."
© Effie Orfanides 2014