Time for a Rant (Or, the Black Rhino Fiasco)

Tell me if this sounds like some backwards, contradictory, nonsensical craziness to you or if it’s just me that’s finding the following news story absurd.  The Namibian government, under intense pressure to save the ever dwindling and extremely endangered black rhino species, recently allowed the US-based Dallas Safari Club to launch an auction raising money for conservation efforts of the species.  Well, that sounds really nice, doesn’t it? Where can I donate? And what’s up for auction?

Oh, the prize…a hunting permit to kill a black rhino.  The critically endangered black rhino.

I rechecked what I wrote and there are no typos. The winner of the auction designed to save the black rhino from extinction gets a permit to kill a black rhino. Let’s just all take a minute to let that sink in. It’s like having a weight loss plan of doughnuts and bacon. Training for a marathon by smoking a pack of Marlboro Reds each day. Getting over a fear of clowns by watching IT. Nothing about this makes sense. If anyone actually thinks the money the government is receiving is purely for conservation efforts, they’ve got to be the most gullible suckers on the planet.

The safari group has said on record that the winner of the auction (a man who shelled out a whopping $350,000) doesn’t have to kill the rhino. He could just shoot it with a camera if he wants.  Of course we all know that’s not going to happen.  And the group is fine with the particular rhino they have in mind to kill because, according to them, it’s old and aggressive. My question is, aggressive to whom exactly? Is it roaming around a heavily populated metropolis goring people to death as they’re trying to get to work? No, it’s out in the grasslands of Africa away from people.  How is its aggression getting in the way of anything? I’m not sure anyone involved truly believes this rhino is a threat anyway.  Sounds more like a rationale to excuse horrific behavior perpetrated by a less than transparent government and a hunter who obviously has more money than he knows what to do with.

The winner himself said that he wants to be “intimate with a black rhino.” I don’t know what kind of childhood he had, but when I want to get “intimate” with something it rarely ever means—no, wait, it NEVER means—killing something. Is he really going to have deep, longing gazes into the rhino’s eyes late at night as he stares at its head mounted on the wall of his den? Is that going to stimulate some sort of spiritual connection that he’s been craving for all the years of his life? If so, he needs to be committed.

And to be honest, what kind of hunter is this guy? Rhinos happen to be one of the easiest things to kill. Their eyesight is crap so you can practically walk right up to them before they even know you’re there. Plus, it’s going to be a guided hunt which means he’s just going to be led to where the rhino is known to be and have it pointed out to him. Basically, this guy spent over a quarter of a million dollars to shoot a fish in a barrel.

The ironic part is that now Huffington Post is reporting that he’s been receiving death threats. Police officials and the FBI are working together to keep him safe. Does anyone see the irony here? I’m in no way hoping for ill things to befall this guy, but come on, how can he honestly still go through with this hunt after he himself is being hunted?  Shouldn’t there be some moment when the light bulb comes on above his head and he says, “Whoa, so wait. Killing something that doesn’t want to die is…not cool?”   Because the thing is, this “winner” could easily choose to be a part of the larger scope of life instead of its downfall.  He could recognize the farce the Namibian government and his precious hunt club are advocating for what it is, and try to save an animal. And there’s an amazingly easy way to accomplish that last part…simply don’t kill it!


Click photo for info on the Black Rhino hunt

6 thoughts on “Time for a Rant (Or, the Black Rhino Fiasco)

  1. Thank you friend for sharing this article quite interesting, hopefully we all get real happiness yamg rays began to warm our hearts and make the heart glad, when we can share it with sincere to each other. Affectionate greetings from Gede Prama 🙂 🙂

  2. No amount of money can make up for killing an endangered animal – it just isn’t intellectually honest. I cannot grasp how anyone can consider this money well spent. Why not buy an MRI machine for a hospital, or similar venture? Instead of getting satisfaction helping a segment of society, he prefers to “get intimate” with an animal by killing it. I admit I’ve never heard a hunter describe killing in this manner, and it’s profoundly disturbing – almost like a paraphilia.

  3. As a current citizen of Dallas, I can say that this is not what I wanted going on in Dallas to ‘promote’ conservation. And while I do NOT agree with this is any way, I still feel that it is important to note that the rhino he is permitted to kill is an old non-breeding male, so the hunt will ‘technically’ have no impact on the population status. But that being said, the impact it will have is that it sends a horrible message! What kind of world do we live in where hunting an endangered species brings in the most money… BTW if you want to see his DISTURBING x-mas card photo check out my blogs Facebook (its linked on my blog in ‘other places’)

    • Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting! I’ll have to check out that Christmas card and definitely your blog. I find this whole situation extremely disturbing. Please know however The Humane Society International has found that, contrary to what the Dallas Safari Club has stated, the rhino to be killed is not “too old” and it is not sick. The rhino they have targeted while older, is in fact a dominant male. Male rhinos continue to breed their entire lives until they are too old and/or too sick to maintain their dominance. So this is not a sickly, non-breeding male they’re going to kill. It’s a dominant male and therefore a breeding male. It’s a horrific situation all around. I hope that the US government denies this hunter’s permit to bring his “trophy” back home.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting! Hope you stop back by again!

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