Hunter who paid $350,000 to kill a black rhino defends his actions in face of backlash
Corey Knowlton has been identified as the winner of the Dallas Safari Club sponsored auction on Saturday and said he 'deeply cares' about animals
A hunter who paid $350,000 (£214,119) at an auction for a licence to hunt an endangered black rhino in Nambia has responded on Facebook to fierce criticism from animal rights campaigners and wildlife groups.
Corey Knowlton was named by fellow hunter Tom Opre as the man who placed the winning bid at the Dallas Safari Club sponsored auction and describes himself as a ‘ hunter/conservationist’ on his Facebook page.
The club said it was auctioning the chance to hunt the animal to raise money for conservation efforts to protect the species.
According to his profile, Knowlton works as a hunting consultant for the Hunting Consortium website led by president Robert Kern, which provides up to date information on hunting and angling ‘adventures’ across the world.
The site offers trips to hunt animals including Russian bears, cape buffalos and elephants.
On his Facebook page, he wrote: “Thank you all for your comments about conservation and the current situation regarding the Black Rhino.
Knowlton posted this picture of himself with a bear on his Facebook page “I am considering all sides and concerns involved in this unique situation. Please don't rush to judgment with emotionally driven criticism towards individuals on either sides of this issue.
“I deeply care about all of the inhabitants of this planet and I am looking forward to more educated discussion regarding the ongoing conservation effort for the Black Rhino.”
Knowlton has also appeared on hunting television programmes such as Jim Shockey's The Professionals. It is not yet known if the licence was purchased for himself or for a client.
Ben Carter, executive director of the Safari Club, has defended the auction.
A picture of a ram believed to be from a hunting expedition He argued the rhino to be hunted is old, male and non-breeding and is likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.
But the auction was condemned by wildlife and animal rights groups, and the FBI earlier this week said it was investigating death threats against members of the club.
Officials from the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have said that while culling can be appropriate in abundant animal populations, all black rhinos should be protected, given their endangered status.
An image of a deer killed in Rockwell County Texas An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, down from 70,000 in the 1960s. Nearly 1,800 are in Namibia, according to the safari club.
Critics have also said any hunting of a rhino sends negative messages to the public. "This auction is telling the world that an American will pay anything to kill their species," Jeffrey Flocken, North American regional director of the Massachusetts-based IFAW, said.
"This is, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species."
Organisers had hoped to at least break the previous high bid for one of the permits in Namibia, which is 223,000 dollars (£135,000) and had said the amount could be as high as 1 million dollars (£606,000).
Protestors gather holding signs near the Dallas Convention Center where the Dallas Safari Club is holding it's weekend show and auction Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Dallas
The nation offers five permits each year, and the one auctioned was the first to be made available for purchase outside of Namibia.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...