America: Land of the Free, Home of the Arrogant

rhino with US flag

Saving the rhino in Africa, from China and Vietnam is a familiar scenario. But another disturbing piece of the equation lies within the US. American hunters have long been drawn to the thrill of “big game”, hunting down rhino, elephant and lion in Africa.

Recently the US Fish and Wildlife Services set a new precedent, giving permission to a hunter to bring back his rhino kill from Africa. This has not been allowed for 30 years. Opening the door to wealthy Americans to slaughter endangered species in the wild for trophies is a dangerous trend to start.

Of course it takes two to tango. Shame on the Namibian government for allowing the hunt, and shame on US Fish and Wildlife for encouraging  the hunter with incentive to keep the trophy.

According to Fish and Wildlife, “The Service cannot and will not allow the importation of sport-hunted trophies of species protected under the Endangered Species Act unless a comprehensive review determines that those trophies are taken as part of a well-managed conservation program that enhances the long-term survival of the species.”

What is well-managed? It seems if any of us had well-managed a species, they wouldn’t be endangered. And what  is the point of cartoon trophy huntrecognizing and labeling a species as threatened, vulnerable or endangered if we’re going to allow them to be hunted down? Is it because if they seem more rare, the price tag on their heads rises, and in the end both governments make more money?

Pro-hunting groups will have you believe by paying to hunt a species, the funds go toward saving them, therefore making conservation sense. However, in this particular case Namibia made $175,000 for their “conservation fund” which in reality is a general fund used for multiple purposes, including rural development; hardly a benefit to the rhino.

However to satiate American hunters’ needs to “bag the big one”, they can also kill endangered species closer to home.  In Texas alone, there are 500 ranches that in recent years have switched from raising cattle to the multi-million dollar industry of “exotic hunting”. There are species here thriving in Texas, that are almost extinct in Africa (i.e three species of endangered antelope and Grevy’s Zebra). Yet they survive only to be killed.

Not only is it illogical and seemingly unethical to breed endangered species simply to exterminate them, but the other part of the issue is the method of the hunt. Many of these hunts are canned hunts, which some within the hunting community even see as unethical.  (See previous post: Shooting Fish in a Barrel)

Endangered animals need protection. Not just from the country they’re in, not in a ‘save by killing’ method, there are no exceptions. They need to be encouraged to breed, given space to do it in, and given the every chance to survive.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “America: Land of the Free, Home of the Arrogant

  1. Absolutely appalling! This makes zero sense.

  2. I cannot even put into words how much this pisses me off.

  3. I like to pint a rifle at those assholes, kill them, cut off their heads and hang them in the middle of town with a sign, this is what happens when hunters kill innocent animals. ARGH!!!!

  4. See? I’m so angry I cannot even type. I just want to spit.

    • Always politics in everything. Logic doesn’t factor in, let alone right and wrong.This photo makes me ashamed of being an American.

      • I know, that picture is desecration of the flag. The founding fathers would be ashamed of them as are all compassionate caring Americans

  5. Joanne

    So to WHOM did the Fish & Wildlife Disservice grant this permission? Someone should do a little research, find out the name, and spread it far and wide.

    • David K. Reinke, CEO of Liberty Parts Team, a wholesale retailer and manufacturer of laser printer components based in Madison, Wisconsin

  6. Pingback: I want change. Do you want change? | Girl for Animal Liberation

  7. Fallacies, fallacies, fallacies.

    Well-managed area is where they have a stronghold of a species, which is strictly:

    1) Population >500.
    2) Be legally protected as an animal habitat; or, where hunting is managed.
    3) A stable population or growing population of the species.

    So, the animals are not going to be hunted “down.” The rhino is going to either stay stable or grow. Otherwise, it is not a well-managed area.

    • If you’ve noticed the news lately, Molewa, SA’s Minister of Environmental Affairs has announced moving 500 rhino to different locations in order to create rhino strongholds. They would not need to be created IF they already existed. In the past when there HAS been an overpopulation of rhino (well-managed), the additional rhino would be translocated to a lesser population or to start a new population. Endangered species SHOULD be “managed” through breeding, translocation, but never through killing them.

  8. Concerned American

    I’m a hunter, I eat what I hunt and I don’t kill what I don’t eat. Hunting a rhino is completely unnecessary, pure and simple. They’re beautiful and majestic animals that are endangered, therefore, should not be hunted. Trophy hunters are the scourge of hunters that hunt to harvest meat. People kill rhinos for sport and for ivory and it needs to stop. They’re endangered!

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