Sounds horrendous. The hunter faced death threats from outraged conservationists.
But the issue is far more complex than it seems at first glance.
The permit came from Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Each year it targets several older rhinos that are no longer able to breed but still pose a deadly threat to younger males. The proceeds are meant to go toward anti-poaching and conservation efforts.
That $350,000 does much to protect black rhino. Many hunters are keen conservationists.
Want to know more?
Back in 2014, Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a hunting trip to Namibia to shoot and kill an endangered species. He’s a professional hunter, who guides hunts all around the world, so going to Africa would be nothing new. The target on the other hand would be. And so too, he quickly found, would be the attention.
This episode, producer Simon Adler follows Corey as he dodges death threats and prepares to pull the trigger. Along the way we stop to talk with Namibian hunters and government officials, American activists, and someone who’s been here before – Kenya’s former Director of Wildlife, Richard Leakey. All the while, we try to uncover what conservation really means in the 21st century.
Listen to the story on RadioLab.