The Dallas Safari Club has come up with its own version of the Gourmet Club featured in the hilarious comedy The Freshman. However, rather than pay to eat one of the last animals of an endangered species, the Dallas Safari Club is auctioning off the right to shoot one of the most endangered animals in the world: a black rhino. The auction is being done in conjunction with the Republic of Namibia to sacrifice one of 5,055 remaining rhinos to raise money. Thus, ostensibly to raise money to protect the rhinos from continued illegal hunting, Namibia and the Club are advertising the thrill of shooting of an endangered rhino.
Ben Carter, the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, insisted “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino.” It is the same logic of destroying a village to save it. Here is Carter’s logic:
“There is a biological reason for this hunt, and it’s based on a fundamental premise of modern wildlife management: populations matter; individuals don’t. By removing counterproductive individuals from a herd, rhino populations can actually grow.”
However, even if you accept the concept of killing animals to save them, the draw appears a basic one: be one of the few people who can claim that they killed an endangered rhino. That right could go as high as $1 million.
It is not clear why Carter’s approach is not also used for orphans or art preservation. Be the only person to shoot up a Monet with all of the money going to the Lovre Museum.
If the desire is to preserve the rhino population, why not just give money to preserve the population?
Notably, the Humane Society is circulating a petition to try to prevent the hunter from being able to bring back the carcass of the kill. The desire to help the rhino population might decline a bit if there is no trophy of the kill.