Ever wake up feeling in tune with your inner Teddy Roosevelt or Ernest Hemingway and think, "I really need to shoot something rare, something exotic, preferably endangered and it's gotta be huge"?
Lucky for you, the Dallas Safari Club has you covered. The group, which bills itself as a "gathering point for hunters, conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts," has secured the right to hunt one of Namibia's 1,800 remaining black rhinos. According to the Dallas Observer, which first reported the hunt, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also approved the event.
The club's claims of aiding conservation may not be as laughable as they appear on first blush. Ben Carter, director of the Dallas Safari Club, told the Observer that the permit is expected to bring in as much as $750,000, all of which will be going back to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia's Black Rhino.
Carter has, as one might expect, received a lot of criticism. "People are talking about 'Why don't you do a photo safari?' or whatever. Well, that's great, but people don't pay for that," he told the Observer.
According to Save the Rhino International, rhino populations have plummeted from some 500,000 at the beginning of the 20th century to just 29,000 today. The black rhino has been a big target, with populations falling from 65,000 in 1970 to 2,300 in 1993. The population has bounced back a bit to 5,055 today.
We here at Yahoo think there may be some other, less lethal, ways to raise money to save endangered animals. Perhaps supermodel Kate Upton might consider accompanying a lucky bidder on a photo safari to view the animal. Former "The Price Is Right" host Bob Barker just donated $1 million to bring three elephants to an animal sanctuary in California. Has anybody called Bob? Perhaps a straightforward Kickstarter campaign would do. We'd like to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.