A Dallas conservation group's auction of a rare license to hunt an endangered black rhino in Africa has outraged conservationists, leading to death threats against the auction's organizer.
The Dallas Safari Club plans to auction off the license Saturday night, hoping to raise as much as $1 million for conservation efforts.
Criticism has come from groups including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which said the sale is a case of letting rich hunters buy a thrill at the cost of a rhino's life. About 4,800 black rhinos are believed to be living worldwide, according to the World Wildlife Federation. The Namibian tourism ministry says about 1,750 live in that nation.
"They need to be protected, not sold to the highest bidder," Jeffrey Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare told CNN. "It also sends a dangerous message that these iconic and disappearing animals are worth more as dead trophies to be mounted and hung on a wall in a Texas mansion than living in the wild in Africa."