Poll: Should Rhinos be Hunted to Support Conservation

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Despite fierce and widespread criticism, numerous petitions, a lawsuit and even death threats, controversial Texas hunter Corey Knowlton’s mission to hunt down a in Namibia has been fulfilled.

Accompanied by a CNN camera crew and two government trackers, and armed with a high-powered rifle, Knowlton shot and killed an old rhino bull in northern Namibia on Monday, following a three-day hunting expedition.

News of the hunt immediately sparked strong reactions online, reigniting debates between international conservation groups, animal rights activists, the hunting community and the general public that have been raging since Knowlton’s $350,000 bid won him a 2014 auction for a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia.

Despite fierce and widespread criticism, numerous petitions, a lawsuit and even death threats, controversial Texas hunter Corey Knowlton’s mission to hunt down a black rhino in Namibia has been fulfilled.

The auction had been billed as a fundraising effort to save the critically endangered rhino species, with proceeds going towards conservation and anti- efforts in the African country.

In an apparent show of emotion moments after the hunt ended, Knowlton reflected: “I felt like from day one it was something benefiting the black rhino. Being on this hunt, with the amount of criticism it brought and the amount of praise it brought from both sides, I don’t think it could have brought more awareness to the black rhino.”

Western Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes)

Knowlton’s detractors have been vocal in rejecting such shoot-to-conserve arguments, saying that hunting sends the wrong message about saving ,particularly in the face of Africa’s escalating poaching pandemic.Just last week, the Namibian government revealed that thecountrylost 60 rhinos to poaching this year, up from a reported 24 in 2014. In neighbouring South Africa, poachers have killed over 400 rhinos just this year.

CNN itself has come under fire for its coverage of Knowlton’s expedition, with some Twitter users accusing it of “glorifying” the hunt.

Meanwhile, the Texas-based International Rhino Foundation has released a statement saying it “does not condone the hunt” – but also noted its legality under both Namibian and international regulations.

The conservation organisation went on to express concern that important conservation issues – such as the poaching of hundreds of rhinos, including many reproductive females,across the African continent– were being “sidelined by the uproar over the hunt of this one animal.”

But perhaps the most moving reaction to Knowlton’s hunt appeared before it even took place, when an honorary game warden with the Kenya Wildlife Service appealed to the hunter to cancel his plans earlier this year.

In an open letter that was featured by Africa Geographic, Raabia Hawa argued that Knowlton had been “duped into believing” that his hunt would aid conservation in Africa, and that killing an endangered rhino would be an insult to the rangers who risked their lives each day to protect these same animals. She wrote:

We are in the wake of a crisis that has gripped our region. Poachers have decimated our herds, and Africa is no longer teeming with wildlife. You kind sir, have been duped into believing that your hunt will aid conservation in Africa.

It will not. Aside from gaining Namibia huge disrepute, it will go against the very fiber of what we are trying so hard to achieve – the protection and true management of our last wild things.

Hunting never has been, and probably never will be, in the true interest of the African people or nations. I appeal to you to spend some time with us to see this for yourself. It is not conservation, and the government officials that continue to allow such ‘fun hunts’ on endangered and critical species, must be ashamed. Indeed they know our great herds are gone, and the more this continues, the more we will fall into the abyss of misery and I’m sure, kind sir, that you do not wish such a ferociously merciless fate for us.

This article was first published by Earth Touch News on 20 May 2015.

We invite you to share your opinion whether Rhinos should be Hunted to Support Conservation? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should Rhinos be Hunted to Support Conservation?

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Bobby Balfour

Hunting and conservation are a contradiction in terms. Why can't hunters just be honest – they like killing things.

Lore Martz

Is that a serious question? NO! They have done fine without our "Kill, Kill" interference – LEAVE ANIMALS ALONE!!

Judy Malone

The notion of Corey Knowlton and his kind as conservationists is something only the United Nations is buying these days. The general public well understands that when foreign wealth and local corruption meet, wildlife pay with their already endangered lives.

Suzanne Beer

It is incredible that we as a species are allowing people like this one to kill animals and yet everyone is out to get the poachers . Mr Knowlton needs to be put in an asylum before he does anymore damage he is a serial killer nothing less.

Virginia Woolf

Hunting is abhorrent and 'killing to conserve' is merely an excuse used by egocentric and callous hunters to justify their psychopathic need to 'murder' defenseless and innocent wild animals. They need psychological counselling for their obsessive and sick behaviour. Hunting, poaching and wildlife trading are the scourge of the planet and must be opposed at every turn before it is too late and these magnificent animals have gone for good.

Cleo Coughlin

Sickening! How can hunting these endangered species save them? The mind boggles!

N Cate Burnette Rvt

It appears this asshole just contributed to the death of a species. View the link.


Ondine Angarola

Iain Gibson Christ died for our sins… but… if you don't repent, you will go to hell. It's not a free pass I believe.

Karen Naylor

Delbert Smith. Donation sent. Can't afford much but am happy to give it to these wonderful people.

Karen Naylor

This is the sorriest excuse I've ever heard for trophy hunting. People like that should never be encouraged to continue their disgusting blood lust, they should be reviled and pilloried by decent society for their vile behaviour, the same way child abusers are.

Roxanne Colaw

Taking pictures with dead animals I find so aborhant, it makes me sick. Justifying their behavior in the name of conservation sounds and feels satanic. And these are the same people quoting scripture. Jesus said turn the other cheek, except for the hypocrites, he's reserved a place in hell for them.

Delbert Smith

Legal hunting is fine and works its when Chinese wanting to get more boners think rhino horn helps. that things go bad. http://savingthesurvivors.co.za/donate-now/

Delbert Smith

http://savingthesurvivors.co.za/donate-now/ Here all you anti hunters put your money where your mouth is.

Ondine Angarola

No. They shouldn't be hunted for conservation. But I would vote yes for hunting him and the likes of him to rid the human species of his defective genes.

Bradford Guy

People can't come together and raise the funds at least equal to what this hunter bid? This whole idea that killing an animal to raise awareness for that same endangered animal you are killing is the most unintelligent thing I have ever heard!

Jess Sathiest

Like every single hunter that exists this barbaric turd exhibits an inbred mentality due to the fusion of the same genes running in his DNA. There is no balance to make these people normal in any way, shape or form. Ideally subhuman filth like this should be suffocated in the birth canal before birth so they can't pollute this planet with their presence. Hunters & poachers are of the same ilk – both kinds of killers are equally detestable with very insecure demeanours and both kinds are severely challenged intellectually.

Michael Shapiro


Iain Gibson

Brenda Robinson What does "live and let live" have to do with it? You can believe what you like, but I learned long ago that once someone is delusional and believes in the imaginary deity they call God, there is no point in trying to convince them otherwise. No amount of rational or scientific explanation satisfies them. I assume your "live and let live" applies to atheists too? Do you pray to your God and ask him to stop all the cruelty and suffering in the World that he allegedly created and is master of? How does he respond to… Read more »

Elaine White

Isn't it strange that people always find very lame excuses to murder the world's beautiful animals! FFS leave the animals alone to live their lives wild, free & in peace as God their creator intended! Another thing, humans need to stop over-populating the planet! Humans are like a f#cking plague destroying everything in their path!!! To be honest I'd rather see more animals and less poxy people!

Pulane van den Heever

Scum of this earth…

Brenda Robinson

Iain Gibson Good moral code is found in the bible, or Quran. Decent human beings? That is the code you live by? What if there are none around, who do you go to for help, guidance or healing?

Brenda Robinson

Iain, live and let live. God is not an imaginary deity. I agree 100% with what Lisa said. Can I ask what you believe?

Belinda Jane Fish

The fact that anyone is so evil and self serving that they think killing magnificent animals for fun is acceptable is in itself revolting but to spew up this drivel is beyond any thinking persons comprehension- psychopaths hiding in plain sight!

Ann Robbins

Definately NO

Ivonne Perez Montijo

It was never about conservation for this asshole. It was always about the trophy. He is a narcissistic sociopath. You can not reason with these type of people. He needs to be put away where he can not do anymore harm.

Seth Blum


Sue Stack

My only hope is that someday Corey will be hunted down like he did the Rhino. Without any regrets. And I will crap on his grave.

Stephanie Tabor

Don't be so ridiculous. No one in their right mind would believe this ludicrous statement.

Marie Peterson

If people really care about conservation they would donate that amount of money and leave the animals alive.

Henning Aichroth

This argument is so foolish

Robyn McEwan


Paul Watson

To describe Knowlton as a conservationist is an insult to every legitimate conservationist in the world.

Iain Gibson

Lisa Scharin I don't want to divert attention away from this horrendous issue to just another debate about religion, but… although I agree with your views, I'm not so sure that God does! I've been told that Christ died for our sins, and that's supposed to mean that every last murderer and sinners of all sorts go to Heaven not Hell. If that's not true I wish Christians would stop telling us it is. I prefer to live by a good moral code that is determined by decent human beings. People like yourself, in fact. No need for obscure myths… Read more »

Sarah Hardy

No. No no we need to admire these few remaining creatures not shoot them i can believe thereis a poll for this common sense respect for animals hope for our future dictate that shooting in nsme of conservation is a big no

Paula Rock

So let me get this straight. In order to save the rhino—-you kill one. I bet this took a Philadelphia lawyer to figure that one out. Money speaks and as long as idiots like this have the money to buy and grease the palms of those who matter, it will never stop. Such a big hunter had to have 2 government trackers to find this poor old rhino that would probably have liked to die of old age on his terms. Such a pity.

Senthil Thirugnana

What a lame excuse to carry on their killing sport……………….These heartless devils could've used that $ paid for the hunting of the Rhino and moved him to another area in Africa. Hunter Corey Knowlton will be remembered in the history as a "Blood Thirsty Vampire".

Lisa Scharin

I agree completely! GOD is the CREATURE and HE LOVES & CARES for ALL HE has created! We are to be GOOD stewards and have a sacred oath to care for what GOD has created-NOT destroy it! For the devil comes to oil & destroy. This is NOT the world GOD intended for us and this is part of the sin Christ died for!!!! I cannot wait until GOD's judgement sends these demons to HELL!!!

Lisa Scharin

This is a good example of the statement- "money is the root of ALL evil"!

Garett Garbry


Jan Palmer

utter stupidity, hunting for conservation is an oxymoron – and a moron thinks its a good idea. Dicks! NO hunting!!

Jan Palmer

utter stupidity, hunting for conservation is an oxymoron – and a moron thinks its a good idea. Dicks! NO hunting!!

Tierra Chapman

This killing for conservation brings to mind an old anti-Vietnam war slogan back in the 60's. 'Fighting for Peace is like Fucking for Chastity.' Our species is long overdue to come into the 21st century with our thinking and our treatment of non-human beings, ALL non-humans, including domestic and wild animals. No culture has a right to bring to extinction any species, not for any reason. Eco-tourism is the answer for funds that are needed for these cultures, and their wildlife, to survive. Another lucrative option might be to poach the poachers, given their numbers, given their lack of purpose… Read more »

Albert Ravey

Of course not. It's like sponsoring orgies to promote virginity.

Pieter Kat

How many times do different "pollsters" need to ask the same question? This is getting tiring. Please consult the same question pose before and get your same answers from there.

Laiba Abro

nice very nice http://www.tipslo.com

Linda French

I am so angry with this article, and so pissed at CNN for filming this horrendous act of cowardliness and cruelty. This is a prime example of how unattached media can be. I do not understand people that need to kill animals, and they all use the same excuse. As far as I am concerned this man is a coward and cruel with any lack of compassion for wildlife!

Jim Duke

This is total and utter madness-Corey and his band are nothing but cold blooded murderers. They are self centred, arrogant, selfish, soulless, heartless, brainless twats. They must be banned from Africa. Wildlife is Africa,without its giants Africa is nothing. Tourism generates more income than hunting ever did or ever will. They are robbing Africa of its legacy. What do we tell our grandchildren when all wildlife is gone? We tried,not hard enough,we cared not enough, we allowed ourselves to be bullied and bribed. Sorry children. No, sorry is not going to cut it–we have to make a stand now–no to… Read more »

Leigh Lofgren

How utterly idiotic and stupid is this man and the people who allowed this to happen. Raabia Hawa's letter was totally spot on and having been to Africa numerous times and seen the destruction that is being caused by poachers, greed and corruption it is just a senseless, selfish act and ALL hunting MUST be stopped. Are we all mad? So very deeply saddened to read and hear of this. Totally soul destroying in my opinion and this world was beautifully created and ruined only by man.

Iain Gibson

The fact that one rich man in the World can BUY the right to kill a rare animal is an example of how corrupt human society has become. There is little hope for mankind and all the wildlife on this planet unless we change the socio-economic system to introduce equality and justice.