Can you save a species by hunting it? One Texas man wants to hunt a black rhino, and the $350,000 he paid to do it plans to help preserve the endangered species in Namibia, Africa.
More than a year after being awarded the winning bid for the hunt of this rare animal, the US Fish and Wildlife Service officially gave Texan Corey Knowlton the permission to import the remains of the black rhino.
In an interview with CNN, Knowlton said he hoped the money he pays for the hunt can go toward conservation.
“I believe hunting through sustainable use is an awesome tool in conservation that can keep these animals going forever as a species,” Knowlton told CNN. “I look at it in a realistic way — that I understand that we can’t save one individual forever. Conservation and hunting can work 100% together and is one of the ways that can help these animals survive for your great grandkids, and it’s been done for a long time before so it has a great track record.”
In a statement from the USFWS, the agency cited the conservation benefits in approving the permit.
“The future of Africa’s wildlife is threatened by poaching and illegal wildlife trade — not responsible, scientifically managed sport hunting,” USFWS Director Dan Ashe wrote. “United States citizens make up a disproportionately large share of foreign hunters who book trophy hunts in Africa. That gives us a powerful tool to support countries that are managing wildlife populations in a sustainable manner and incentivize others to strengthen their conservation and management programs.”
Azzedine Downes, president of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told CNN she’s “baffled as to why they would issue this permit.
“We are very upset about it,” she told CNN. “We just simply don’t believe that trophy hunting has any place in serious conservation.”
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