“Everything has an expiration date on it.” These are some of the words a man used to justify his killing of an endangered black rhino in Namibia after bidding $350,000 in an auction to win a hunting permit. The man’s name is Corey Knowlton from Texas, and he has since made the lame claim that he did the hunt because he is just doing his part to save them. In an interview with CNN, the 36-year-old rhino-killer made the comment about expiration noted above.
According to a report filed by NPR, Knowlton won the right to hunt the animal at an auction. NPR said he could likely afford the huge fee. They noted that he’s a hunting consultant based in Dallas, as well as a personality on an Outdoor Channel hunting show, Jim Shockey’s The Professionals. He’s also a son of Lary Knowlton, the co-founder of BASA Resources, which was characterized last year as one of “the top 20 oil producers in the state of Texas.”
The same report also quotes one critic of the hunt as follows: “I am deeply saddened, disappointed and incredulous that he sees this mission as contributing to the survival of endangered black rhinos,” said the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Jeff Flocken. “If you pay to take a human life and give to humanitarian causes, it does not make you a humanitarian. And paying money to kill one of the last iconic animals on earth does not make you a conservationist.”
In our humble opinion, it is an easy thing to do, to kill a rhino with a hire-powered weapon, with the assistance of guides, from a few feet away. Knowlton apparently makes the claim that older bull rhinos, no longer suitable for mating, are nevertheless dangerous to the other population and need to be put down. They can injure or kill members of the mating crowd. But even if there is merit to this questionable claim, killing them in the manner he did is not justified for any reason.
Hunters who have enjoyed the sport of deer hunting, liken Knowlton’s act to shooting a tame and tethered dog from 20 feet away. Here is the thing Knowlton, you come off as a coward with a lot of money, and you kill defenseless animals. You do this in the manner of your twisted view of sportsmanship– it is simply not that. We think you are no better than the poacher who shoots deer blinded by spotting scopes at night. You are no better than people who set snares and traps to capture and kill animals for sport. Except, what you do is apparently legal– that is a shame. You appeared on CNN in your recreation room with trophies of animals prominently displayed– what a man!– Not!– You are far from that– a sniveling little loser comes to mind. How could anybody be proud of you or your acts?