Did you notice the prize in this raffle? Would you be opening your wallet, or would you be recoiling in horror?
This flyer is a fictitious bit of mischief to point out the absurdity of raising money to protect an endangered species by auctioning off a chance to kill one of them!
The Dallas Safari Club still defends their auction of a permit to shoot a highly endangered Black Rhino. Trophy hunting is an act of pure ego. The winner says he feels justified in slaughtering one of these animals because his $350,000 will go toward protecting other African rhinos from poaching.
Besides, only an old, slow rhino will be selected for the kill. (What sport.) But since every Black Rhino's individual genome is unique, there are no disposable rhinos. The target's individual alleles could potentially be lifesaving for this species as conservationists race to save it.
I want to be clear. The problem is not hunters across the board. Hunters, from Teddy Roosevelt to Ted Kerasote to Rick Bass, have been some of this country's most dedicated conservationists. Ethical hunters have a respect for animals - they use the meat for food, hunt only in season, participate in hunting used to manage prey populations in the absence of large predators, and above all use skill, allowing the prey a 'sporting chance'. Roosevelt himself famously refused to shoot a grizzly that his guide had cornered for him. But the Dallas Safari Club is oblivious to the repugnant nature of trophy hunting.
Here's a thought, Mr. Auction Winner. Maybe donate the money and put the permit in the shredder?
The story of the Rhino Auction has been made infamous by headlines worldwide.
From CNN: Marcia Fargnoli, chief executive officer of the
Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia, which works with the
government to fight poachers, says the group
has tried to convince the Namibian government to stop
issuing these hunting permits.
"They need to be protected, not sold to the highest bidder,"
said Jeffrey Flocken of the International Fund for Animal
Welfare (IFAW) "It also sends a dangerous message that
these iconic and disappearing animals are worth more as
dead trophies to be mounted and hung on a wall in a Texas
mansion than living in the wild in Africa."
Will you help? Sign the petition to protect Black Rhinos from trophy hunters. You will be urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to forbid the import of whatever "trophy" would result from the slaughter of an old, slow rhino.
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