Had big game hunter Corey Knowlton known his $350,000 winning bid to hunt an aggressive, non-breeding black rhinoceros in Namibia would cost so much stress and frustration, he might have stayed home from the Dallas Safari Club auction last January.
A year after securing one of only five black rhino hunting permits issued each year by the African nation, Knowlton doesn’t know if he’ll be able to return to the U.S. with his trophy after he shoots the animal.
His application to import the rhino’s remains is still pending before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the agency has received what one official called an “unusually high” number of comments on the request.
As with the auction, public emotions are running high over the FWS permitting process.
Still, it’s important to remember that Knowlton and his fellow hunters pose little danger to the black rhino population, which has dwindled because of poaching and an illegal market for rare animal products.
Knowlton’s hunting permit was secured through a legal and transparent process. The FWS should allow him to bring home his trophy the same way.