Documents reveal that the other permit applicant is a Las Vegas resident named Michael Luzich. A member of the NRA's "Ring of Freedom," Luzich is a founder and managing partner of the Nevada-based investment firm Luzich Partners LLC, and founded a casino operator called Peninsula Gaming Partners LLC. Luzich independently negotiated with the Namibian government to secure his permit to trophy hunt a black rhino. So far, it's unclear whether Luzich has killed the rhino assigned to him yet.
Only 1,800 black rhinos remain in Namibia. Considered a critically endangered species by the IUCN Red List, the species has been in sharp decline as of late. Its horn is highly sought after by poachers for sale on the black market in Asia and use in traditional medicine.
Some argue that this type of expensive trophy hunt benefits the species because the money funds conservation programs and anti-poaching initiatives. And for an endangered species with only 5,000 members left in the wild, swift protection is surely needed. But Flocken says that trophy hunting rare species is actually having the opposite effect. By killing an endangered species, hunters set the precedent that owning this rare species is desirable - specifically because it is rare. And the logic of killing an animal to save it is "insane," he says.