Hunting Consortium consultant Corey Knowlton with a bear he hunted.

Black rhino auction winner speaks out

The hunter who won the auction to shoot an old, post-breeding black rhinoceros bull has spoken out against his critics, inviting them to look at the facts instead of the emotionally charged attacks on him and the auction.

Corey Knowlton is a Hunting Consortium consultant from the US and paid AUD$388,000 for the permit to hunt the bull in Namibia, the money going to the Namibian government to fund its anti-poaching campaign.

The New York Post reported that Mr Knowlton posted comments on his said on his Facebook page (“which is full of bloody images of him proudly posing next to animals he has killed, including a giant brown bear and a record-breaking mako shark”, the reporters wrote) “Thank you all for your comments about conservation and the current situation regarding the Black Rhino. I am considering all sides and concerns involved in this unique situation. Please don’t rush to judgment with emotionally driven criticism towards individuals on either sides of this issue. I deeply care about all of the inhabitants of this planet and I am looking forward to more educated discussion regarding the ongoing conservation effort for the Black Rhino.”

The Post journalists then wrote, “Knowlton purchased the controversial permit – auctioned off at a Dallas Safari Club event Saturday – from the Namibian government to hunt an endangered black rhino. The event was framed as a fund-raiser, with organisers claiming the proceeds would be used for preservation of the magnificent, endangered species. It was claimed that the rhino that would be hunted via this permit was an old, post-breeding bull.”

It is believed that Knowlton – described as an experienced hunter who has “hunted widely on six continents taking more than 120 species” – bought the permit for an unnamed client.

Knowlton’s boss, Hunting Consortium president Robert P. Kern, responded to us in an e-mail saying, “The government of Namibia urgently needs funding . . . to combat the latest onslaught of poaching . . . The fastest way to do this was to auction a single rhino bull, provided by the government of Namibia . . . No rhino is immortal. We feel that it is far better to allow this rhino to be hunted in exchange for a huge donation to the anti-poaching campaign, rather than letting him die of natural causes.”




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Justin Law