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.
 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'