Monday, 17 November 2014

Texas hunting club will cancel auction if rhinoceros carcass is barred from US

Corey Knowlton paid Dallas Safari Club $350,000 for licence to shoot beast
Fish and Wildlife Service yet to say if trophy can be imported from Namibia

Associated Press in Dallas

theguardian.com, Sunday 16 November 2014 17.45 GMT

A Texas hunting club that auctioned off a permit to shoot an endangered black rhinoceros in Africa said it will cancel the hunt if a federal agency denies the winning bidder’s request to bring the dead animal back to the US as a trophy.

Corey Knowlton bid $350,000 at a January auction that the Dallas Safari Club billed as a fundraising effort to save the endangered species. Last spring, he applied for a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service that would enable him to import the rhino’s body following the hunt in Namibia. But he is still waiting to hear back.

The agency is applying extra scrutiny to Knowlton’s request because of the rise in poaching, said a spokesman, Gavin Shire.

If the permit is denied, the safari club plans to refund Knowlton’s money that was pledged to a rhino conservation fund in the south-western African country.

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