Conservation group auctioning chance to kill a rhino...for a cau - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Conservation group auctioning chance to kill a rhino...for a cause

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

A Texas safari club is raising money to preserve an endangered species by auctioning off a license to kill them.

The Dallas Safari Club says the permit is one of five given each year that allows people to kill black rhinos in Africa.

This is the first time the permit is being auctioned off outside of the country.

"50 percent of male rhinos are killed during their lifetime in fighting. 30 percent of females are killed during their lifetime in fighting, and a lot of that is by males that are post-reproduction," said John J. Jackson, the President of Conservation Force. "So you can stimulate the population growth rate by eliminating these bad boys."

The auction rules say you can only hunt one rhino that is no longer able to reproduce, and has proven to be aggressive towards its own species.

"The World Wild Life supports it. The IUCN, the largest international conservation, supports it. The rhino specialist group IUCN supports it," said Jackson.

The Caldwell Zoo has worked to preserve the black rhino population by successfully breeding seven black rhinos.

Their concerns are hunting the exact rhino that fits the characteristics in the auction guidelines.

"If an animal was selected that was actually being aggressive and killing animals that were contributing to the population, and that particular animal was no longer contributing to the gene pool, then there could be some merit to the idea to help to population in general," said Scott Maddox, Assistant Director at the Caldwell Zoo. "The science based on genetics says that it could be a very valid way to contribute to conservation, but if you don't select the right animal, the science is out the window."

Auction organizers are hoping to generate $1,000,000 for black rhino conservation efforts.

"The hunter that buys this auction item will be a hero in the conservation community," said Jackson.  

The Dallas Safari Club says the money raised will go directly to an anti-poaching trust fund.

The auction will begin January 9th-12th. Call (214) 939-2700 for  more information.

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