Namibia is planning to hold an auction to raise money for the conservation of rhinos in their country. But what they’re planning to auction is a legal hunting permit for a black rhino – the scarcer of the two already vulnerable animals. According to a report on Tourism Update, the auction will be hosted by the Dallas Safari Club during its annual convention and expo in January. The hunt will take place at Mangetti National Park, in northern Namibia.
As cruel as this sounds, the auction is set to raise a considerable amount of money that will go directly toward conserving rhinos in Namibia. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has granted Namibia an annual export quota of up to five hunter-taken black rhinos. This means that the hunting of five black rhinos per year is entirely legal in Namibia.
“This fundraiser is the first of its kind for an endangered species,” said Dallas Safari Club Executive Director, Ben Carter. “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.”
There are currently only 4 848 black rhinos left in Africa and the western black rhino was declared extinct in June this year. Closer to home, figures are looking increasingly dire with 790 rhinos already poached during this year (up until 25 October 2013). During the entire duration of 2012, 668 rhinos were poached in South Africa. This, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, published on Stop Rhino Poaching. 259 arrests have already been made this year.
As the situation is getting increasingly desperate, governments are trying anything and everything to curb poaching. Earlier this year there was talk about South Africa legalising trade in rhino horn. Other possible solutions have also included a chemical composition that will affect the health of those who consume rhino horn. Many have opted for dehorning their rhinos in an attempt to keep poachers at bay, but the rhino remains under growing threat of becoming extinct.
What do you think? Leave your comments regarding Namibia’s hunting permit and other solutions to rhino poaching in the comments section below.