Last week, New York Times contributor Richard Conniff penned an op-ed for the newspaper titled, "A Trophy Hunt That's Good for Rhinos" -- a resounding show of approval for the controversial black rhino hunt auction by the Dallas Safari Club to hunter Corey Knowlton for $350,000. Conniff argued that Namibia has an excellent track record with rhino conservation, and that the money gained by the auction goes directly to anti-poaching measures, saying, "so far nothing else matches trophy hunting for paying the bills."
Wayne Pacelle, the President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, responded to Conniff's claims in a letter to the editor of NYT, saying, "We don't need this sort of pay-to-slay program for endangered mammals."
Unfortunately, when it comes to animals, there are far too many people around who will pay a high price to do something harmful to them. That's the case with the $350,000 payment by a trophy hunter intent on shooting a black rhino. But no amount of money can offset killing a black rhino, a critically endangered species, facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. The American public does not support the Orwellian idea of killing endangered species to save them -- even if it comes with a big cash payment.