Texas man who won hunting auction to be allowed to import black rhino trophy

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The US government will allow a Texas man to import the trophy of an endangered if he kills one in Africa as part of a conservation fundraiser.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service said on Thursday that importing a carcass from meets criteria under the of benefiting conservation.

Corey Knowlton bid $350,000 last year in a auction billed as a fundraising effort to save the .

A ranger walks behind a pair of black rhinoceros at a conservation park in . Corey Knowlton has paid $350,000 to kill one rhino in Namibia. Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

In a letter to the agency in December, the club’s executive director, Ben Carter, said the money raised from such auctions is “critical to supporting the Namibian government in their efforts to stem the tide of commercial killing of these animals”.

Since publishing the initial request in November, the US Fish and Wildlife Service received more than 15,000 comments, as well as petitions with about 152,000 signatures demanding that it be denied. Animal rights group Peta said on Thursday that it will file a lawsuit.

The hunt was postponed and Knowlton’s money kept in escrow while the agency deliberated over the permit application.

A Dallas Safari Club spokeswoman, Jay Ann Cox, could not immediately confirm on Thursday whether a date has been set for the hunt.

The agency also is allowing Michael Luzich, a Las Vegas investment manager, to import his black rhino trophy. Namibia directly sold him a hunting permit.

Luzich has received far less scrutiny than Knowlton, who said last year he hired full-time security because he had received death threats once his name became public knowledge.

The chief executive, Wayne Pacelle, said the federal agency is sending a “mixed message”, noting rhino poaching is on the rise.

The federal agency said it rejected permission to import an elephant trophy from Zimbabwe because it would not enhance the survival of the species in the wild.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 27 Mar 2015.


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Hajra Younus

This has to stop there is no reason for hunting any animal rhinos are already on the brink of extinction

Fran Occupy Hoef-Bouchard

Very sad situation.

Fran Occupy Hoef-Bouchard

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one of the most corrupt agencies in the country. Made up of mostly hunting enthusiasts. So no surprise whatsoever that they granted the permit. The A Dallas Safari Club is made up of a bunch of wealthy rednecks. And they have insider friends with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Not hard to connect the dots.

Janice Boyd

Unfortunately conservation needs to be funded. How many of the people who gripe about conservation getting money from selling hunting licenses actually have put their money where their mouths are and have donated significant amounts of money to conservation? Pay up or shut up.


Excellent! Now they need to lift the ban on trophy elephant importation!

How it works: Trophy hunters pay a lot of $ and are permitted to kill animals that are no longer productive members of the population. The money is supposed to go towards conservation efforts. If your not on board with this either you haven’t read up on the matter enough or your being illogical.

Susan Frudd

Will the killing ever stop….these poor Rhinos are forever suffering poaching and for what
so called aphrodisiacs…..Chinese again….

Maria Manuela Lopes
Maria Manuela Lopes

Shame sad and Disgusting

Leigh Lofgren

Paul Seligman Paul, I was in Namibia for a month in 2011 and it was the first African country I believe, that invested in it's lands and kept a large percentage as protected wildlife, as they understood the value of their lands, resources and wildlife. The Chinese are indeed taking over and you need to look it up – we were there last year in Tanzania and in one section alone, they had lost over 12,000 elephants in one year. Corruption, graft, greed and more are rampant, as they always have been and not just in Africa. The Chinese do… Read more »

Leigh Lofgren

Linda French Linda, they already are shipping out horns, ivory etc all under our noses – the guides and everyone else knew it and nothing was being done. The Tanzanian people were more than upset, but clearly had no idea how to stop it. I was furious, still am, as I love Africa, have covered most of it over the years and as a photographer, sickening. I just don't know how you fight back without the corruption, money and greed of those at the top.

Paul Seligman
Paul Seligman

Leigh Lofgren In Namibia when we were last there – but it was 2003 – the hunters were Europeans: Germans, Italians and so on. So let's not blame it on the Chinese although they are driving many wild species to extinction. Dog and cat farms may not be to your taste (or indeed mine) but they are not endangered.


Yes, how DOES that work? I grew up in the Vietnam War era, and we anti-war activists had a slogan: Fighting for Peace is like F***ing for Chastity! Killing an endangered Rhino for conservation is reminiscent of the same war monger’s approach to peace. And we’re allowing it? Sounds like a dubious money exchange with some greedy palms being greased. Shame on this!

Linda French
Linda French

Leigh Lofgren this is indeed bad news if the Chinese R moving in, they will destroy Africa and kill all the wildlife eventually. These people use most of the animals in Africa for their "medicine" and if people think for a minute that they will not organize black markets, triads, and illegals groups to destroy everything than they are on another planet. You may as well say good buy to Africa because it is a useless fight. The Chinese will win..they do all the time as they have no respect for wildlife. They still eat dogs/cats have dog/cat meat farms,… Read more »

Leigh Lofgren

The Chinese are taking over most of Africa and the only ones doing the infrastructure. We have been to Namibia and loved it – Tanzania last year and the Chinese are everywhere….they will kill everything and must be stopped.

Leigh Lofgren

What is wrong with you people – have him donate the money to save them not kill 'em and why is an endangered species being allowed to be hunted. Have you all gone bloody nuts? STOP and these people on both sides sicken me – those that pay to kill and the ones who take it.

Jo Walstow

This is beyond comprehension!! This is a life they are playing with, the unfortunate Rhino – that is the "prize" is a sentient being with thoughts and feelings of its own. Absolutely shocking and disgusting.!!!

Paul Seligman
Paul Seligman

Namibia is one of my favourite destinations. sadly last time we were there, huge parcels of land were being sold off to foreign owners and syndicates for them to fly in to shoot the wildlife.

Doris Charles

Shocking News on Texas man and trophy hunting

Matthew Monaghan
Matthew Monaghan

How does that work? They are endangered but he wants to shoot one? I’m from south africa, don’t think the rest of the world understands….