U.S. hunter pays $350,000 to hunt Black Rhinocerous

first_imgMultinational Force to Hunt Down Boko Haram Crews hunt for debris, black box from doomed EgyptAir jet A US hunter who paid $350,000 to kill a black rhinoceros in Namibia successfully shot the animal on Monday, saying that his actions would help protect the critically-endangered species.Corey Knowlton, from Texas, downed the rhino with a high-powered rifle after a three-day hunt through the bush with government officials on hand to ensure he killed the correct animal.Knowlton, 36, won the right to shoot the rhino at an auction in Dallas in early 2014, attracting fierce criticism from many conservationists and even some death threats.He took a CNN camera crew on the hunt to try to show why he believed the killing was justified.“The whole world knows about this hunt and I think it’s extremely important that people know it’s going down the right way, in the most scientific way that it can possibly happen,” Knowlton told the TV channel in footage released Wednesday.“I think people have a problem just with the fact that I like to hunt… I want to see the black rhino as abundant as it can be. I believe in the survival of the species.”Since 2012, Namibia has sold five licences each year to kill individual rhinos, saying the money is essential to fund conservation projects and anti-poaching protection.The only rhinos selected for the hunts are old ones that no longer breed and that pose a threat to younger rhinos.The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says 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.“These are incredibly majestic creatures, and their worth alive is far greater than (when) they are dead,” said Azzedine Downes, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), one of the conservation groups opposed to the hunt.Both black rhinos and the more common white rhino have recently suffered from soaring poaching in South Africa’s Kruger Park where hundreds are killed each year for their horns which are used in traditional Asian medicine.The exact location of Knowlton’s hunt was kept secret to avoid tipping off poachers.Television footage showed Knowlton accompanied by a professional hunter and local trackers as they tried to find a rhino that was approved for killing.His first shots injured the animal before he fired the fatal bullets.“I felt like from day one it was something benefiting the black rhino,” Knowlton said just after the hunt ended, his voice croaking with emotion.“Being on this hunt, with the amount of criticism it brought and the amount of praise it brought from both sides, I don’t think it could have brought more awareness to the black rhino.”AFPRelatedcenter_img Emerging black talent in South Africa inspires otherslast_img read more

16 Marines arrested on human smuggling and drug charges

first_imgSixteen Marines in Southern California were arrested Thursday and are facing charges for various crimes.The accused Marines were arrested at Camp Pendleton during Battalion formation.The Marines are facing charges related to their alleged involvement in various illegal activities ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses.Officials say information from a previous human smuggling investigation led to the arrests.” The 1st Marine Division is committed to justice and the rule of law, and will continue to fully cooperate with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) on this matter,” officials said in a statement. “Any Marines found to be in connection with these alleged activities will be questioned and handled accordingly with respect to due process.”Officials did not identify the accused Marines nor disclose any additional information.None of the Marines were serving on the U.S.-Mexico border.last_img read more