MISSOULA, Mont. (Jan. 7, 2014)—Controversy surrounds an upcoming fundraiser and hunt for a black rhinoceros, but the Boone and Crockett Club is praising both as positive moves for the future of a critically endangered game species.
During its Jan. 9-12 convention, Dallas Safari Club (DSC) will auction a rhino-hunting permit prescribed by biologists in Namibia. The hunt will be for an old, post-breeding, aggressive bull known to charge and kill younger bulls, cows and calves in Mangetti National Park. Removing these animals increases herd survival and productivity.
DSC expects the permit to bring at least $250,000, perhaps up to $1 million—with 100 percent of proceeds earmarked for Namibia’s rhino conservation efforts including anti-poaching patrols.
Animal rights activists are working to stop the fundraiser with petitions, media hysteria and even death threats.
“Those who oppose hunting are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own version of the facts,” said Bill Demmer, president of Boone and Crockett Club. “The science behind this hunt is irrefutable. And the harvest of one animal for the betterment of a species, especially one as threatened as the black rhino, is conservation in practice.”
He added that complete protectionism is simply too narrow a view in a modern world where natural resources are too precious to be left to chance. In today’s human-influenced landscapes, letting nature take its course in all instances has proven irresponsible. Wildlife, especially species targeted by illegal poaching, does not thrive on its own. It requires law enforcement, habitat preservation, research, science-based oversight and other active conservation measures. Someone has to pay for that management, and for many species, that someone is, and always has been, sportsmen.
Demmer said, “History shows repeated successes with hunter contributions to restore and sustain wildlife. Whitetail deer, elk, pronghorn and bighorn sheep are just a few examples from North America. The black rhino is the newest example from Africa.”
The Club applauds DSC, the government of the Republic of Namibia, their biologists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which agreed to cooperate with a qualified hunter on trophy importation) for their strong actions for the future of black rhinos.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
North America’s first hunting and conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887. Its mission is to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship. Join us at www.boone-crockett.org.