There are, like, 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild, tops. And now there’s one fewer, thanks to Texas oil heir Corey Knowlton, who legally shot an endangered black rhino and then legally brought it back to the United States, because that made Corey Knowlton feel like a big strong hunting man. What, how even, please explain to us NPR.
Corey Knowlton won an auction last January for a hunting permit that would allow him to kill a black rhino weighing around 3,000 pounds. […]
The permit came from Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Each year it targets several older rhinos that are no longer able to breed but still pose a deadly threat to younger males. The proceeds are meant to go toward anti-poaching and conservation efforts.
Oh! That is almost Nice Time, if you can put aside the sad, post-colonial reality of a sovereign state so desperate for cash that it auctions off part of its wildlife conservation efforts to the highest bidder. We will focus now on the Nice Time aspects of the story, for science:
- Old male rhinos are apparently jerks, we guess. Boo jerk rhinos, down with jerk rhinos!
- Knowlton paid $350,000 for one of the five permits, and the proceeds will support conservation programs.
- The Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism identified 18 potential targets across the country, and the permits were only valid for these rhinos. Shooting any other rhino would be straight-ahead poaching.
Not a bad toll, karmically speaking. Maybe this guy paying to get his Great White Hunter jollies will actually help save the endangered black rhino, who knows! So what can we get mad about here?
- The permit was originally issued not to Knowlton but to the Dallas Safari Club, which told NPR that it hoped to raise between $225,000 and $1 million for conservation efforts. Who says you can’t be a bargain shopper at a charity auction?
- Knowlton knows that the haters are gonna hate, telling CNN: “I think people have a problem just with the fact that I like to hunt.” Everyone feel bad for oppressed Corey Knowlton!
- Corey Knowlton’s daddy is a member of the exclusive Dallas Petroleum Club — where some of the plutocrats bankrolling Karl Rove occasionally like to meet — which helps explain how Knowlton fils was able to afford the permit, a flight to Namibia, a super-expensive rifle, an experienced hunting party, and transoceanic shipment of a dead rhinoceros back to the terrifying animal graveyard Corey Knowlton keeps in his house.
Did that last point hit you right in your class grievances, Wonketeers? Yeah, we know, us too. But it gets smarmier! Take us home, CNN:
I ask Knowlton if he still feels that killing this black rhino was the right thing to do and that it will benefit the future of this endangered species.
“I felt like from day one it was something benefiting the black rhino,” Knowlton reflected just moments after the hunt ended. “Being on this hunt, with the amount of criticism it brought and the amount of praise it brought from both sides, I don’t think it could have brought more awareness to the black rhino.”
Maybe not more awareness, but probably more money if we’re being honest with ourselves, right?
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