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The Dallas Safari Club is set to auction off a black rhino hunting permit Saturday night, which would allow the winner the chance to hunt one of the rarest animals in the world.
The group, which is holding the auction in the Dallas Convention Center, claims that the auction is to help conservation of the highly endangered animal, reports CNN.
The auction is expecting that the hunting permit will go for between $250,000 and $1 million and it will then be donated to the Namibian government in an effort to increase conservation efforts for the animal.
Executive director Ben Carter said, "This is the best way to have the biggest impact on increasing the black rhino population." It is believed there are about 5,000 black rhinos left in the world, with 1,700 located in the African country of Namibia.
Conservation and animal groups, however, are not happy that this hunting permit is being put up for auction, notes USA Today. International Fund for Animal Welfare's Jeffrey Flocken said, "They need to be protected, not sold to the highest bidder."
Flocken added, "It also sends a dangerous message that these iconic and disappearing animals are worth more as dead trophies to be mounted and hung on the wall ... than living in the wild."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also criticized the auction, as did animal activist Bob Barker.
But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sided with the auction as the hunts are only offered to about three people a year and help cut down on the more elderly and sick of the black rhino population.
image: Wikimedia Commons