- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 12, 2014

A permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino in Namibia was auctioned off for $350,000 in Dallas Saturday night.

The Dallas Safari Club has come under heavy criticism for sponsoring the event, but insists that the rhino to be hunted is old, male and nonbreeding, the Associated Press reported. The club says all proceeds will go toward conservation efforts.

The club’s executive director, Ben Carter, said the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.

The auction took place in downtown Dallas under tight security and behind closed doors. Namibia offers five permits each year, and the one auctioned Saturday was the first to be made available for purchase outside of the country, the AP said. The buyer of the permit was not immediately identified.

About 40 protesters had gathered outside the convention center where the auction took place. Many chanted and held signs that read, “Let old rhino live,” and “No to rhino sport kill.”

An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, down from 70,000 in the 1960s, according to the Safari Club.

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