Hunt the black rhino to save the black rhino.
That's the Dallas Safari Club's approach to a fundraiser for efforts to protect the endangered species.
The group hopes to raise more than $200 000 by auctioning off the right to shoot and kill a black rhinoceros in the African nation of Namibia.
The auction has drawn howls from environmental protection groups and protesters, and the FBI has said it is investigating death threats against members of the group.
Club Executive Director Ben Carter says the rhino to be hunted is old, male and non-breeding – and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.
But environmental groups say all members of an endangered species should be protected.
Health24's EnviroHealth Editor, Olivia Rose-Innes says she's opposed to this for two reasons:
1. It’s not good for the human psyche to enjoy killing, especially highly sentient fellow-creatures. If an animal has to be culled, then it should be done humanely and professionally; it should treated as an unfortunate necessity, not advertised as a fun-filled excursion.
2. It may be the easiest way to quickly bring in funds, but money can’t just override ethical considerations. There are other ways to generate funds and experience the thrill of wild animal encounters such as photo “hunts/safaris” or trips where you accompany wildlife practitioners on some of their tasks e.g. game monitoring.
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