Eastern black rhinoceros calf and its mother, 8-year-old Kapuki. (Photo: AP)
Hunter Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 at an auction last January for the privilege of killing an endangered black rhinoceros.
But now, more than 150,000 people have signed petitions to block the Texan from importing the creature’s carcass. Permission to import must be given before a hunter goes abroad with the purpose of killing an animal, if they hope to bring it home as a trophy.
The response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s application that would allow Knowlton to import the dead animal has been epic according to the Daily Mail.
Related: 8 Great Ways to Save a Rhino Today
"Since publishing the application request to import the carcass, U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service officials have received 15,000 comments against, and 135,000 signatures on a petition to the same effect," the Mail reports.
Corey Knowlton, whose $350,000 bid at a January auction won a rare permit to hunt endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia, speaks during an interview in Dallas. (Photo: AP)
'I'm not sure we've ever received a petition quite like this one before,' service spokesman Gavin Shire told the Mail.
The rhino is one of five that the Namibian government has approved for hunting for what they call “culling,” the species.
The Dallas Safari Club, which sponsored the auction has postponed the hunt until the import is officially approved.
Bob Fretwell of Mesquite, Texas, protests outside the Dallas Convention Center where the Dallas Safari Club held its auction. (Photo: AP)
Only 4,880 black rhinos still exist, with 1,800 of those living in Namibia. They are currently under threat due to the high price fetched for their ivory.
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What do you think? Should American hunters be allowed to pay for the privilege to kill endangered animals for sport?