The Dallas Safari Club's twisted idea to auction off a black rhino hunting trip — ostensibly to raise money to save an endangered species — is raising eyebrows the world over. During the October 24 episode of The Colbert Report, comedian Stephen Colbert laid into the conservation club.
"It's like the old saying, If you love something, set it free. Then, when it has a bit of a head start, open fire," Colbert quipped after quoting Eric Nicholson's article in the Dallas Observer.
The Dallas Safari Club is working with the Government of the Republic of Namibia to secure the special hunting permit. All proceeds from the deadly auction will be earmarked for "rhino conservation" in Namibia.
"I'm just super stoked about this. It is worth it, folks. The money goes to something incredible, the trophy. It is just astronomical. I cannot imagine having a black rhino," a Dallas Safari club spokesman says in a video.
In a feeble attempt to defend the decision to hunt in the name of conservation, the website Ammoland.com says, "Science has shown that removing certain individual animals can help rhino populations grow." It's not the first time this exact same kind of hunt has been hosted. But the idea of auctioning off a rhino's head to the highest bidder is hard to swallow, especially coming from a group supposedly dedicated to protecting endangered animals.
"The more you shoot, the rarer it gets," Colbert said. "This is the only practical way to save the species."
The hunt, which has been reported as far away as the UK, already has a petition against it.
The Dallas Safari Club will auction off the hunting permit in January at its annual convention. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reportedly promised to cooperate fully with the buyer.