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Winner of auction to hunt endangered black rhino hires personal security detail

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Mr. Corey Knowlton, 35, bought himself a whole lot of trouble when his $350,000 bid made him last weekend’s winner of the Dallas Safari Club’s auction to hunt, shoot, and kill an endangered black rhino in the African nation of Namibia.

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According to a Jan. 17 report from CNN, those troubles include death threats against him, threats against his children, having to hire a personal security detail for protection, and, dealing with the FBI regarding those threats against he and his family.

After it became common knowledge that Knowlton was the winner of that auction, threats that were previously aimed at his hunting club began coming directly at him.

Although there’s a lot of support for Knowlton on his Facebook page, there are also a lot of unhappy and threatening posts coming his way.

"You are a BARBARIAN. People like you need to be the innocent that are hunted," posted one woman on Knowlton's Facebook page.

Some sounded even more sinister. "I find you and I will KILL you," read another threat. "I have friends who live in the area and will have you in there sights also," wrote another commenter.

"A hunter afraid of being hunted?! How do you think the rhino feels idiot?" responded one woman to Knowlton's fears.

The self-proclaimed conservationist and experienced hunter, who now fears becoming the hunted, insists that the black rhino hunt and his winning $350,000 bid are designed to help insure the survival of the endangered species.

"I respect the black rhino," said Knowlton. "A lot of people say, 'Do you feel like a bigger man?' or 'Is this a thrill for you?' The thrill is knowing that we are preserving wildlife resources, not for the next generation, but for eons."

Those opposing Knowlton’s upcoming black rhino hunt include the Humane Society, an organization that intends to “fight Knowlton's efforts to bring the black rhino trophy into the United States.”

According to the black rhino hunting agreement between the Dallas Safari Club and the government in Namibia, several black rhinos have been earmarked for future hunts. Knowlton’s upcoming hunt would only include one of those.

These are animals that are old, no longer capable of breeding and are considered a dangerous threat to other younger animals.

Corey Knowlton contends that the true danger to the black rhino population comes from the animal kingdom, not hunters.

"One of the other ear-tagged killer rhinos is going to injure it. And then either lions or hyenas are going to drag it down. It's going to die [in] a horrible manner, slowly."

The $350,000 paid by Knowlton in his bid to hunt the black rhino is supposed to be donated by the Dallas Safari Club to the Namibian government to aid in their black rhino conservation efforts.

Knowlton plans to donate the rhino meat from his kill to needy Namibian communities.

The black rhino population had shrunk to only a few dozen in the 1980s. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are approximately 5,000 black rhinos left in the world today. Seventeen-hundred of those black rhinos reside in Namibia.

See our original report:

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