i have recently started a rhino series. last month the government of Namibia allowed the the Dallas Safari Club to auction off a permit for a hunter to kill a black rhino in one of Namibia's "game parks." the proceeds from the auction will go to the park to supposedly help preserve other rhinos there. a "hunting consultant" won they bid by writing a check for $350,000. there are so many things about this situation that baffle and intrigue me:
- the whole "game park" system where animals are somewhat protected, yet poachers readily shoot whatever they want to and herds are frequently "culled" to keep populations at some ideal level. geez - just try parsing the rhetoric and rationalization in that sentence.
- rhino horns (and tiger penises, and probably other strange body parts) are in huge demand in asia because there is folklore that those appendages help impotent men get hardons. who are all of these men who can't get it up? do they really thing this stuff works? i want to see the proof. otherwise, just join rush limbaugh and others and buy viagra. it's cheaper and more effective.
- apparently there are a lot of "hunters" who want to kill exotic animals and mount their heads on walls. (hmm, may tie into the whole penis thing mentioned above.) what is this desire to shoot other
- these game park hunts are like shooting fish in a barrel: the animals are spotted by park "rangers" or someone, the hunters are driven out to where the animals of interest are, and using a high-powered, scope-fitted rifle, from a safe distance the "hunter" kills (assassinates) the animal. and somehow, the "hunter" is willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars and feels better about himself/herself after shooting a rare species. where is the hunting? did the parents of these sorry humans buy sports trophies for them, then tell them "good job?" instead of hunters, let's just be honest and call them "lazy wealthy exotic animal killers."
- oh, and the meat from the exterminated rhino will be given to a local village for food. so that's a feel-good thing. give some poor folks the rhino carcass so a recreational animal killer can tell jesus he's done a good thing by feeding the poor. will the recreational animal killer continue to feed the village week after week, or is this one-time thing enough?