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Texas club auctions rhino hunt permit in bid to protect species

General January 9, 2014

An endangered east African black rhino and her young one walk in Tanzania's Serengeti park in this file photoBy Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Dallas Safari Club will auction a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia, possibly fetching up to $1 million with proceeds going to protect the endangered animals in a move seen by some animal rights groups as ethically dubious conservation. "The whole purpose of the auction is to raise as much money as possible to ensure that the black rhino population continues to grow," club executive director Ben Carter said. "These bulls no longer contribute to the growth of the population and are in a lot of ways detrimental to the growth of the population because black rhinos are very aggressive and territorial. In many cases, they will kill younger, non-breeding bulls and have been known to kill calves and cows." There are about 25,000 rhinos in Africa – 20,000 white rhinos and 5,000 black rhinos – with the majority in South Africa.

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