DALLAS (AP) - A permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino sold for $350,000 at a Dallas auction held to raise money for conservation efforts but criticized by wildlife advocates.
Steve Wagner, a spokesman for the Dallas Safari Club, which sponsored the closed-door event Saturday night, confirmed the sale of the permit for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia. He declined to name the buyer.
The Safari Club's executive director, Ben Carter, has defended the auction, saying all money raised will go toward protecting the species. He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding - and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.
But the auction drew howls from critics, including wildlife and animal rights groups.
...and from me. Killing one of the world's most endangered species for sheer sport and not because it's a necessity of life--even if a legitimate game management case can be made for it--seems pretty disgusting to me.
Going along with my Aldo Leopold piece the other day, this epitomises the notion of the Abrahamic concept of land: that the earth and all that's in it have been placed here for our pleasure and dominance. Leopold bought this into sharp focus:
Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
I don't see much love and respect for the black rhinoceros.