Outcry over black rhino shooting

WINDHOEK — A US hunter killed an endangered black rhino in Namibia on Monday after paying $350 000, a move that has been condemned by animal welfare advocates.

Corey Knowlton, who arrived in Namibia on May 13 accompanied by a CNN crew, killed the rhino using a high-powered rifle in the northern part of the country.

The permit was issued by Namibia’s environment and tourism ministry and auctioned by the Dallas Safari Club in January last year. The 36-year-old hunter from Texas argued that killing the rhino was not the work of a blood-thirsty American hunter, but a vital component of Namibia’s effort to save the animal from extinction.

“I think it’s extremely important that people know it’s going down the right way, in the most scientific way that it can possibly happen,” Knowlton told the TV channel in footage released on Wednesday.

The terms of the permit dictated that Knowlton should hunt an old rhino bull that no longer contributes to the gene pool but could disturb younger bulls from performing breeding tasks.

Namibia’s Ministry of Environment had identified 18 black rhinos across the country which suit the description.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s largest conservation organisations, says black rhinos remain “critically endangered, with strong demand for rhino horn posing a constant threat to small populations.”

There are less than 5 000 black rhinos in the world, according to WWF statistics. — Xinhua.