Dallas Safari Club's Black Rhino Permit Sold for Much Less Than Expected

BlackRhino.jpg
The Dallas Safari Club had hoped the permit to shoot a black rhino -- one of a few thousand remaining on the planet -- would have auctioned for close to a million dollars. If scarcity was the quality that drove the price, the ultimate trophy doesn't get much more endangered than this. What's more, it came with a built-in conservation conscience, since the proceeds would go to anti-poaching, research and habitat preservation efforts.

Because who wants to simply donate to the laudable goal of preventing the disappearance from the earth of a 3,000-pound horned tank without at least getting to shoot one in the process? As it happens, the opportunity turned out to be worth a lot less than the club's organizers thought: $350,000.

Though attendance and overall sales were up, they're blaming negative publicity for repelling potential bidders. "It annoys me to tears," Hanns-Louis Lamprecht of Hungers Namibia Safaris told The Dallas Morning News. "I was so angry last night. A million dollars would have lasted years, years in the conservation efforts. ... The fact is it could have been more -- it could have been a lot more."

Even so, it auctioned for $100,000 more than the last one. This year, the bidding drew international criticism over the inherent contradiction in killing the animal to fund conservation efforts to save its species. The club maintains that an old bull, past its reproductive prime, would be the rhino culled in this Namibian hunt.

Bob Barker, former host of the The Price is Right, was like, what, so because we're old, we're expendable? "As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like rather a harsh way of dealing with senior citizens," he wrote in a letter to club president Ben Carter.

Ageist implications aside, Barker was trying to make a point. The very reason for the black rhino's endangerment is the fact that its horns have been monetized. "What makes you any better than the poachers who kill rhinos to feed their families?"

Dallas Safari Club would say that its well-heeled bidders and a big donation make the difference. In this venue, a trip to see the subject of the charitable effort in its natural habitat isn't enough. The head of one rare black rhino is simply the cost of doing business.


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170 comments
CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul This may have been lost below (I also made a few changes):


Regarding whether sport hunting is unethical ...


Do animals feel pain similar to how humans experience it? There is scientific evidence based on empirical observation and experimentation to indicate that yes, many are capable of feeling pain as humans do. Some of this evidence is based on similarities in nervous system and brain anatomy, as well as studies involving the use of analgesics in animals. Anyone who has ever heard a cat or dog howl after being injured might already intuitively suspect this.


Therefore, if you're at least open to the possibility that animals experience pain, a subsequent question might be: "Is it wrong to inflict pain on animals merely for our own pleasure, i.e. the thrill of the hunt and accomplishment of a kill?" I guess your answer depends on whether you think it is unethical to needlessly (not for subsistence or protection) inflict pain on animals. One could argue that it would be more humane to put a bullet in the animal's vitals in such a way that you killed it within seconds, but how can you be certain that your shot will be true? You can't. Also, what sort of pain would the animal feel for those few seconds as it dies?

It's similar to the arguments against what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in human executions. We've progressed from hanging to electrocution to gas to lethal injection based on what we feel inflicts the least amount of suffering. While I am not saying animals and humans are on equal footing, I do say that it stands to reason to say it is more ethical to only subject animals to suffering when it is absolutely necessary for our survival. Hunting for sport does not qualify.

Richard
Richard

The rationale for the issuance of the permit was out there for anyone who cared or was interested in the facts. The letter in the link below comes from the chairman of the Rhino Specialist Group of the International Union of Conservation and Nature - the very group responsible for the survival of the species.



https://www.facebook.com/HuntGeo/posts/490043021108412

roo_ster
roo_ster

I was hoping some pinhead lefties would put their money where their mouth is and outbid.  I guess doing something actually useful is beyond the means of the animal whackos.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

May the "hunter" catch malaria ...


Insha'allah!

DaisyC
DaisyC

So it's good to cull old, aggressive males who aren't useful for breeding any more? Does this principle apply only to rhinos?

(Tip of the hat to Bob Barker)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Imagine a Dallas "Conservation" Group selling the right to Clear-cut a square mile of Old Growth Rain Forest ... claiming they were going to use the $$ to help preserve the rain forest.


Only in Texas are humans this stupid.



holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The entire $350k goes to preserving the Rhino herd in Namibia.

It's why Namibia issued the permit.

ruddski
ruddski

I'd wager there are commenters here who STILL question whether Ol' Yeller had to be put Down

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@CogitoErgoSum@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 

No, it wasn't lost.  I did reply to your post.

I believe that your argument is insufficient in that you appear to assume that hunters hunt for the sole purpose of inflicting pain on animals.

The infliction of pain on any animal for the purpose of enjoyment, pleasure or self aggrandizement is not only unethical but illegal.


It is my understanding that in a hunt for the trophy, the body of the animal is often consumed locally.  Whereas in poaching, the desired part is taken and the body is left to rot.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Richard It all sounds reasonable, but none of it is hard evidence that, if left alone - and protected from poachers - the population won't grow all by itself. Nature often needs little help from people.

ruddski
ruddski

No amount of fact will sway the anti-science folks here, their emotionalism trumps all, and they are more interested in demonizing those who are better informed.

Doesn't mater, the rhinos will be properly managed in spite of the cries of the ignorant, you lose, bitches.

Richard
Richard

@DonkeyHotay


The decision to issue the five annual permits to the government of Namibia was made by the 179 members of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, based on recommendations from the International Union of Conservation and Nature (the United Nations agency in charge of protecting the world's wildlife), after consulting with the IUCN's Black Rhino Specialist Group, the pre-eminent scientists in the world in the field of black rhino research. Not a Texan among them.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@holmantx yes, but is it necessary to sell permits to sport hunters to help the herds?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx  Hmmm... I wonder.  Or is it a scam similar to Chris Christie's use of federal Sandy recovery money to fund a New Jersey tourism campaign?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski I would bet you'd have loved to have pulled the trigger.  Like that bloodthirsty Phelps.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @CogitoErgoSum Perhaps I wasn't clear. I'm not saying that sport hunters hunt because they enjoy causing pain to animals. Only sadistic people would do that. I'm saying that most sport hunters -- such as yourself -- won't admit to themselves that the animals they hunt can and do feel pain much the way they do. If they actually realized this, and admitted to themselves that they do not need to hunt in order to meet their nutritional needs, they would hopefully realize this is an unethical practice, regardless of whether they eat it or not. If you deny that hunters don't always get a kill shot first -- or that, even when the shot takes the animal down, it still takes a minute or so for the animal to die, I'd doubt your honesty there.

As a vegetarian, I also think it is unethical to eat meat of any kind from the grocery store. The one thing that might ameliorate the ethics here is that factory farms are supposed to kill these animals instantly (though this is dubious) -- as you described you try to while hunting. The problem with your justification is that you can't ensure you're killing these animals instantly, thus you are risking unnecessarily causing them pain. This is what I'm describing as unethical.


Here's the rationale:


1. Can hunting animals cause animals pain? Yes, because hunters can't ensure that they kill the animals instantaneously, and often don't.

2. Does the sport hunter need the nutrition the animal carcass provides in order to survive? By virtue of the activity being for sport, no.

3. Is hunting the animal for sport (not subsistence or security) then necessary for the hunter? No.

4. Is unnecessarily hunting an animal, and potentially causing it pain, unethical? Yes.


Then, is sport hunting unethical? Yes.


Conclusion: The hunter is unnecessarily causing pain to the animal, which is unethical.

Richard
Richard

@CogitoErgoSum@Richard I respect your opinion and your approach to the problem, but it is at odds with the world's leading experts, without whose blessing, these permits would never be issued. I can't read Mr. Knight's letter and come to your conclusion. I gather from your post below that if rhinos "flame out" without human intervention, you're ok with that. I'm not. If there's a chance to save the species we should do what we can - whether we all agree on the methods or not.

doublecheese
doublecheese


@CogitoErgoSum @Richard Nature often needs little help from people.


This is magical thinking.  We are talking about preserving something in nature, which nature, naturally, doesn't do.  Nature is perfectly OK with sending the rhino to it's extinction.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Richard Really? I'm pretty sure Namibia had the final say -- scientists' blessing or no -- on whether to issue those permits, seeing as how they are a sovereign nation.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@CogitoErgoSum @holmantx 

Like deer hunting licenses in Texas?  Where do you think that money goes?

There are more deer in Texas now, and in counties they never were, because of herd management.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@Threeboys  Take heart, love.  There are plenty of delightful cat shows on the telly that will titillate and warm your cockles.

ruddski
ruddski

Myrna, I only shoot cats.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Richard @CogitoErgoSum I've said before that we should do our best to protect nature from ourselves, i.e. poachers. Yes, I agree that humanity is part of nature, but we have far surpassed our natural equilibrium in that regard. Through our brainpower and technology, we've enabled our species to overcome much of what otherwise would have kept our numbers at a naturally sustainable level. We should recognize this and take all reasonable measures to avoid further interference with nature.

Further, if we take your pro-interference argument to its logical conclusion, no species would be allowed to naturally go extinct -- as many tens of thousands of species have for hundreds of millions of years. What would our planet be like if no species had gone extinct? Jump ahead 50,000 years or 500,000 years. Assuming we're still around and haven't destroyed the planet or ourselves, many species could have been naturally driven to extinction by then. Should we interfere with those, as well -- keep them all alive? Why? Nature makes room for new species, thanks to evolution by natural selection.

Richard
Richard

@CogitoErgoSum@Richard So let's tear down the fences designed to keep poachers out, stop all game patrols, remove any and all restrictions on the hunting of all animals,  do away with pollution standards and penalties and all acts of human intervention in the natural world. Nature will run its course, and what is meant to be will come to pass.  I don't think that's what you want but isn't that the logical extension of your point?


Mankind is part of nature, and as such is sometimes at odds and sometimes in sync  with it. Mankind has impacted nature from the beginning of humanity and will until the end of time. We can regulate and control  that impact or we can ignore it.


I'm in favor of taking reasonable steps to save species.


CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Richard @CogitoErgoSumTherein lies the problem. You are of the opinion that every species that could potentially be saved, should be saved. That is not how nature works. Just look at the fossil record to see how many tens of thousands have "flamed out." Therefore, humanity, once again, is at odds with nature. It's the same sort of ethos that led us to many of the problems we've created. It's not that I'm OK with a species disappearing. It's that I respect the fact that nature is a finely tuned balancing act we are only beginning to understand and appreciate.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

And of course we'll be impacting the environment, but because of the fact that our populations are frequently far out of equilibrium with ecosystems, why shouldn't we do all that we can to minimize that impact -- including how we interact with species in the wild? Can we positively impact nature? Perhaps, but the record shows that nature had biological success long before we were here. Now that we are, does that mean the best course of action is to take ownership of natural processes, or try to take as much of a "hands-off" approach as possible? With our past record of impacting nature being as dismal as it is, hands-off seems to make the most sense.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@doublecheese @CogitoErgoSum @Richard No religion, magic or mysticism here, just evidence based on mankind's monumental failures at interfering with nature. It will do fine on its own, without interference. The revenue from the permits is not necessary - as far as we know - to fund anti-poaching measures. There are many other revenue streams. 

doublecheese
doublecheese

@CogitoErgoSum @doublecheese @Richard The premise that nature doesn't need our help is equally valid as the premise that it does.  It has no meaning.   There is no such thing as "our place".  That is more magical, mystical, nature-worshiping religious thinking on your part.


But I see you want to protect them from the poachers?  The sale of a hunting permit to cull a bull that doesn't contribute to the future of the species provides money to do just that.


Sorry to tell you, but man is here to stay, and we'll be impacting the environment no matter what we do.  It is possible, despite your religious-like denials, to positively impact nature.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@doublecheese @CogitoErgoSum @Richard Thank you. I agree that nature does not need us to help. Therefore, we should leave nature alone as much as possible. This would mean that we do our best to protect nature from ourselves (poachers) and allow it to run its course. We have been, and continue to be, a blight on natural processes. We have done enough here to "help" nature along. No need to cull or sport hunt or interfere at all. If the species survives, nature took its course. If not, nature took its course. Instead of decimation by humans, it could have been disease or extended drought that pushed the species to the brink. If the species is robust enough, it will survive. If not, it won't. It isn't our place to continue as we have by interfering yet again.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@CogitoErgoSum @doublecheese @Richard These are nonsensical questions.  Nature doesn't need us to help.  Nature doesn't need us not to help.  Nature simply is.  It's not a being, it has no sensibilities, it has no goals, it has no reason.  This is all about what humans want.  If we humans want to preserve the rhino, after what other humans have done to the rhino, then we humans should act to do so.  We can increase their numbers through proper management far better than leaving them alone.  That's simply a fact.  

doublecheese
doublecheese

@CogitoErgoSum @doublecheese @Richard Yes, we do know the best way out.  Humans have gained much knowledge about managing animals over the past 10,000 years or so.  Our knowledge of growing numbers of herd animals especially is vast and without doubt.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@doublecheese @CogitoErgoSum @Richard Not magical -- based on evidence. Yes, species go extinct all the time. That is nature at work. We got the rhinos into this predicament and now we think we know how to best get them out? The hubris of mankind knows no bounds. The best we can do is protect them and leave them alone. If they flame out, that's nature at work. If they survive, nature again.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@CogitoErgoSum@Richard 

If Namibia did not obtain international approval then the trophies would have been considered to be the result of poaching and therefor subject to seizure if someone tried to import them into another country.

Richard
Richard

@CogitoErgoSum@Richard


I never suggested otherwise.  Donkey said that only Texans were stupid enough to believe that killing a black rhino would help save the species. My point is that that decision was made by the very people who know more about rhino protection and preservation than anyone in the world - the international community and the scientists in the IUCN. Obviously, the Namibian government has to distribute the permits - but they do not issue them - but that has nothing to do with the point made.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@doublecheese @CogitoErgoSum @holmantx They are in this state because of us. Now, we think they need us? There's no reason to suspect that, if poachers are kept away, that the rhinos can't slowly grow on their own. There are 4,000 of them or so. If they don't, that is nature's way of "culling." Species go extinct all the time, many we never even were aware existed.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@CogitoErgoSum @doublecheese @holmantx Nature will regulate itself, that is a fact.  It just may regulate the rhino out of existence though, given the state they are in now.  That is why they need help.  Not to mention, there are real, actual threats to the rhino that are not natural, that the money is used to thwart.  There is nothing magical about "nature's self-regulatory" attributes.  Nature doesn't give one flying fuck about the rhino.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@doublecheese @CogitoErgoSum @holmantx I realize that questions of morality, when applied to fellow animals, are pretty high-level concepts for folks like you, but they are a worthwhile pursuit. Further, these arguments have done nothing to prove beyond a shadow that humanity need meddle with nature's self-regulatory attributes. 

doublecheese
doublecheese

@CogitoErgoSum @holmantx You have been given reasonable arguments and easily verifiable facts in all of these threads, but all you can come back with are emotional arguments.  Things like "animals are not our playthings" and such.

ruddski
ruddski

"@ruddski And I should suspect that you possess a positive treasure trove of knowledge and scholarly research regarding animal conservation."

No hon, I just read the links provided by commenters that gave facts the Observer chose to ignore, which make perfect scientific sense.

Your argument is essentially "waaaaaaahhhhhh, you SUCK!" Brilliant stuff.

If you were to manage a herd of anything, they'd be dead in a generation.

JFPO
JFPO

You accusing someone else of expounding on something they know nothing about is the funniest thing you've ever said.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski And I should suspect that you possess a positive treasure trove of knowledge and scholarly research regarding animal conservation.

ruddski
ruddski

It's fun to watch you expound on an issue you know absolutely nothing about. Taxes, Social Security, now animal conservation.

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