A Texan hunter, named Corey Knowlton, has sparked outcry by paying the Namibian government $350,000 for the right to hunt and kill an endangered black rhino. Knowlton invited CNN to document the hunt, and was filmed firing three shots at the animal in order to take it down.
There are less than 5,000 black rhinos left in the world, and Knowlton has reduced that number further with the help of his friend Mr Gun. In an attempt to defend his actions, Corey has appeared on television and stated that by killing the animal he is in fact helping to protect the species.
— Andrew McAlpine (@Maritimegeek) May 21, 2015
There are those who will point out that the money, which Knowlton put forward at an auction authorised by the Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism, will go towards conservation projects in the area. But sorry, that argument just doesn't cut the mustard as far as we're concerned.
This is clearly another example of a wealthy, blood-thristy, dickhead flashing his cash around and exploiting an African government in order to get his hunting-fix. Just because you've paid for something, doesn't make it right.
Anyone with that much spare cash lying around, could just as easily make a donation to the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism without the need to bring killing into the equation. But then that wouldn't have satisfied Knowlton's deep-set need to see a dead animal strewn out on the plains.
According to sources, the black rhino shot was old and had been identified as a problem-causer in the herd. Even if this black rhino was stirring up a hurricane of shit in a teacup, we'd still argue that this does little to justify Knowlton's actions.
We said this at the top, and we'll say it again, there's less than 5,000 black rhinos left in the world. Surely, with their numbers so low, every effort should be made to protect them for dying unnecessary deaths. Even if, as was supposedly the case here, the rhino was being an absolute shit-can.
"...there's less than 5,000 black rhinos left in the world."
Mpora understands that the money put forward by Knowlton will go towards paying the salaries of 3,000 field rangers employed to protect wildlife from poachers and enforce park regulations. Of course, these field rangers do a wonderful job and money doesn't grow on trees.
However, isn't it a sad indictment of the world we live in that the wages of good men need to be paid for through seedy transactions? Seedy, immoral, transactions like the one that occurred between Knowlton and the Namibian government.
Surely, a compromise can be reached whereby hunters replace their bullets with tranquilliser? That would give people like Knowlton the chance to live out their weird, primal, fantasies while also insuring that vital conservation projects continue to be funded.