- Posted January 4, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Auction of Black Rhino by Dallas Safari Club Deceptions of the Hunting Community
The Dallas Safari Club has seen its organization in the cross-hairs of a worldwide debate since first announcing its plans for the execution of a highly endangered rhinoceros. On January 11, 2014 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, they will be auctioning the rights to kill an endangered Black Rhinoceros and are declaring this hunt a “heroic conservation” effort, the Dallas Safari Club and its supporters are attempting to deceive a gullible public into believing this hunt isn’t simply the slaughter of a rare species of rhino. The club’s actions and rhetoric dares to make palatable what most would deem unjustifiable—killing an animal facing extinction. Some ‘lucky’ hunter-with a fist full of cash, gets to kill an endangered Black Rhino.
"Black rhinos tend to have a fairly high mortality rate," Executive Director of DSC Ben Carter says. "Generally speaking, out of a population of 2,000, harvesting three rhinos over a couple or three years has no impact on the health of the rhino herd at all."
"It's going to generate a sum of money large enough to be enormously meaningful in Namibia's fight to ensure the future of its Black Rhino populations," Carter says. The money, in reality, may go to an already corrupt government, one that is willing to turn a blind eye to the destruction of its own resources for money. At the time of this writing, there is no clear indication who will get the money and for what conservation purposes. Government corruption In Southern Africa is a well-known issue and regularly documented by various media sources.
In a second interview Ben Carter states "Namibia has an annual quota to kill five black rhinos and has 'selected' the club to auction one of them." He then continues, “That said, if someone wants to cough up almost seven figures and use the permit to go shoot the rhinos with a camera, they are more than welcome to do so.” These statements are a direct contradiction of what they are claiming as "advanced, state-of-the-art wildlife conservation and management techniques"
“Conservation,” is the organization’s only argument to garner support, even within its own community. This is simply a selfish attempt to ensure its members can continue hunting rhinoceros and other species years from now. This auction to hunt a Black Rhino is NOT conservation of a species. There is nothing ethical or heroic about it. It is a deliberate attempt to mislead the general public and disguise the true motives of the Dallas Safari Club and its members.
According to Louisiana conservation attorney John J. Jackson, who said he's been working on the auction project with federal wildlife officials, the hunt will involve one of five black rhinos selected by a committee and approved by the Namibian government. The five are to be older males, incapable of reproducing and likely "troublemakers ... bad guys that are killing other rhinos," he said. These animals are farm-raised around humans and cared for by humans only to be killed by rich hunters in what has been coined as "canned hunts." This is simply a method that allows them to farm more for harvesting later.
This auction is nothing more than abuse of Africa’s natural resources to the highest bidder. No ethical or moral motive drives the hunt club’s actions. What DSC touts as conservation, we label destruction of a nation. The DSC lawyer’s statements are shockingly arrogant and factually incorrect. "This is advanced, state-of-the-art wildlife conservation and management techniques," Jackson, a Metairie, La.-based international wildlife attorney, said Wednesday. "It's not something the layman understands, but they should. This is the most sophisticated management strategy devised," he said. "The conservation hunt is a hero in the hunting community."
Yes he is correct--the hunt may be a hero in the hunting community. But it has no conservation value other than the additional killing of rhinoceros and other species by rich Americans. This guise of "conservation" is not new but seems to be the only justification the group has. The individuals who participate in these hunts are rich Americans and Germans-typically millionaires who could very simply donate towards the care and keeping of endangered species rather than killing them. If this club wants to be seen as ‘heroes,’ and it has such a concern for conservation, it could easily petition its rich members to save these animals by donating money, to be used towards conserving the species.
So we continue to ask--how is handing over a sum of money for the rights to kill an animal that is nearly extinct the most sophisticated management strategy, when most South African countries are banning Trophy Hunting? These countries have found that it just does not work. There is a comprehensive list of researched and confirmed reasons that clearly explain why trophy hunting is not a good conservation method, even if cash is generated in the process. And, in fact, the numbers of threatened species have rapidly declined since the Hunting Lobby groups won the fight to continue “their conservation efforts”.
The real motive for this auction and hunt is not for the survival of the rhino species, and protection of the species’ inherent majesty and ecological importance, but rather for the expensive blood-lust thrill of killing. This opportunity is available only to an elite group of power hungry wealthy people to "conserve" a commodity for the continued planned, organized, and highly profitable execution of wildlife for fun.