Dallas Safari Club black rhino trophy hunt spin couldn't be further from the truth

In a deeply twisted effort to put a responsible spin on trophy hunting, this weekend the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) will auction off the chance to kill one of the world’s last black rhinos.

The DSC expects the auction to pull in between $250,000 and $1 million, which will allegedly fund conservation efforts for this highly endangered species (fewer than 1,800 individuals remain within Namibia’s borders, out of a global population of around 5,000).

There’s a glaring disconnect between their stated aim (conservation) and the route the DSC is taking to get there.

Wildilfe around the globe face pressures from habitat loss and other factors, but poaching for the black market is the biggest reason black rhinos face extinction – indeed, in 2013 there were almost 1000 rhinos poached for their horns in South Africa alone.

Also on IFAW.org: How much does trophy hunting contribute to African communities?

From an ecological perspective, it makes no difference whether the hunter is motivated by greed, poverty, or an incredibly tasteless and morally repugnant style of interior decorating.

Tell me, does it matter whether the horn ends up on someone’s wall or as a (alleged) medical cure? It’s still one less rhino, in a world that can’t afford more losses.

If black rhinos and other dwindling species are to have a future, people must be encouraged to value animals for their inherent worth, not for their closing price at a Texas auction house.

All the DSC is accomplishing is kicking up more enthusiasm for hunting in an era when conservationists are struggling to prevent mass extinctions. Instead of helping the conservation cause, as they claim to be doing, the Dallas Safari Club is sending the message that killing endangered animals is not only fun, but conscientious as well.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 


Read the IFAW report on the economics of trophy hunting, conducted in support of listing lions under the US Endangered Species Act.

Post a comment


Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy