When I read that a permit to hunt a critically endangered black rhino was going to be auctioned off, I was almost lost for words. (The article can be found here.) There are only 4,880 individuals black rhino left in the wild (statistic is from February 2013 though) 1. In fact the West African black rhino subspecies went extinct in 2006 2. Now I must say I am not opposed to trophy hunting, I think it does have a place in the conservation of African fauna and flora. It protects the area of land which the animals to be hunted live, and drives a certain amount of demand to keep species in order to kill them 3. It is big hobby among rich people to go out trophy hunting. I known in an ideal world I would like to not support trophy hunting, and fund conservation another way, but in a world driven by money, it is not a reality. However, I am afraid that the auction of this permit will set a precedent. The black rhino is far from out of the danger zone. Granting a permit is as good as saying ‘yeah, we have enough black rhinos in the wild’, giving the wrong message to the public and to poachers.
Money from the auction is going to go back into rhino conservation in Namibia, but when you have to kill an animal in order to raise funds for its future survival something is terribly wrong. If only China and other Eastern countries didn’t have a demand for rhino horn, in the first place, the poor black rhino wouldn’t be in this pickle in the first place. Someone needs to tell them they might as well bite their nails, than use rhino horn, as it’s exactly the same thing. The photo above shows the lengths that are gone to, to protect the black rhino. This particular one is being air lifted by a military helicopter, whilst sedated, to a new home, hopefully away from the main areas poachers are targeting. A video of the airlift operation can be found here: http://vimeo.com/31866622, and I do urge people to watch it. With passionate people like this, I really hope the black rhino has a future. Just as long as the US based Dallas Safari Club stops being an idiot and permitting the killing of these majestic animals. The animals were here before us, humans shouldn’t be the cause of their extinction.
If you think you need further persuasion to help protect black rhinos, just watch this link of David Attenborough and a baby rhino: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWSGqNBT1gc
There is a petition on this page, which you should sign, even if it comes to nothing: http://sunsetdaily.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/stop-the-killing-of-rhinos-as-a-way-to-save-rhinos/
For further information read the article which brought this to my attention and the comments below it: http://blog.africageographic.com/africa-geographic-blog/hunting/black-rhino-to-be-auctioned-off-to-trophy-hunters/