Corey Knowlton, a 36-year-old from Texas, “won the right to shoot” a rare black rhinoceros at an auction in Dallas last year. His bid was $350,000. He is the heir to his father’s energy firm BASA. He fulfilled his wish this week in Namibia. With a CNN camera crew in tow, Knowlton killed one of the endangered animals with a high-powered rifle.
Knowlton says he is helping to protect the species as the only rhinos selected by the government for the hunts are old ones “that no longer breed and that pose a threat to younger rhinos.” According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “there were about 850,000 black rhinos alive through much of the last century before hunting left only about 2,400 in 1995, but numbers have since edged up to about 5,000.”