It is the devastating truth endangered wildlife species are on the brink of extinction. One of the most recognizable ways this happens is through poaching. Each year a great number of rare animals are killed by poachers for their fur and horns. They’re hunted mostly by the rich for pleasure. It is sickening to know that the US had granted one such hunter the ability to bring his trophy over seas. Recently, the citizens of the States learned the hunter had killed a rare black rhino. The black rhino is critically endangered, as only 5,500 remain in the world! How cruel is it that a rich ‘hunter’ – which is too nice of a word for what he did – would kill such an endangered species? Apparently, being an endangered species is what attracts hunters in the first place.
US gives permission for hunter to bring trophy home
During a hunt in February 2017, Lacy Harber – the owner of a taxidermy museum in Texas – shot and killed a black rhino. The billionaire and trophy hunter was able to get a permit to kill said animal from an auction. It was through an auction organization called Dallas Safari Club. Harber paid the Namibian government $275,000 to be able to hunt the black rhino!
He said that he viewed this hunt as a way to raise money to protect the black rhino. “I didn’t want that permit. I knew there was going to be a lot of controversy about it, but I did that to save the black rhino,” Harber told the Herald Diplomat in January.
Harber believes that he is the savior/hero to the Namibian government for ‘saving’ the black rhino. The rhino had apparently been old and kicked from his herd. He assured the animal welfare groups that the rhino had already “attacked and killed two females and three babies” and then added, “If you don’t have a use for an animal, if it has no value, it’ll just disappear.”
Wildlife groups challenge the permits
Unfortunately Harber’s permit was legal, and request authorized by US law. His plan was to bring the carcass into the United States and display it in his museum. Thousands are against the permission to do this, while the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service permitted him to import into the States the body parts of the dead animal.
“We call on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the conservation of critically endangered black rhinos by keeping them alive, and not permitting trophy hunters to kill them and import gruesome ‘prizes’ into the United States. Allowing trophy hunters to kill black rhinos will take a severe toll on their populations, already under immense pressure from poaching.”, a representative from the Humane Society International said.
The HSUS and Humane Society International have been instrumental in establishing key protections for commonly trophy-hunted species. These include lions, leopards, and elephants. “We are making it clear to the FWS that we will not stand by and watch while they cater to a few wealthy trophy hunters who hunt rare and endangered animals abroad for the thrill of it and who do not represent or speak for a majority of Americans.”
A sad day indeed, when animals are becoming extinct
Who is to say how much longer the rare black rhino will still be around. How was it right for Lacy Harber to be allowed to hunt an innocent creature and kill it? Could there have been a better solution to protect others in its herd from his [black rhino] violence? We will never know. For now, it is a sad day to know these endangered animals will one day be extinct.
Featured Image via screencapture from website We Love Animals