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Rhino hunter receives death threats
A man who paid 350-thousand dollars for a chance to hunt and kill a Black Rhino in Africa is now the one being hunted.
Corey Knowlton says he and his entire family have received death threats.
This was the scene inside the Dallas Safari Club auction hall when Corey Knowlton dropped 350-thousand dollars for a hunting permit issued by the Government of Namibia to hunt a Black Rhino.
It didn't take long for Knowlton to get outed on social media and for the death threats to pour in.
"I had no idea that it would be this visceral. I had no idea they would be attacking my 2-year-old daughter, my 7-year-old daughter and my beautiful young wife and they want to kill us and burn us."
Knowlton has hired a private security team while the FBI investigates the threats against him.
But instead of hiding, Corey Knowlton says he wants to convince his critics that this hunt will actually help the Black Rhino population thrive in Namibia.
"It's a belief system. A belief in conservation for me..."
Knowlton started hunting as a young boy and hosts hunting shows on the outdoor channel and he also organizes high-end hunting adventures around the world.
Corey Knowlton describes himself as a passionate conservationist and argues that old Black Rhinos that don't reproduce, actually threaten to kill other younger rhinos.
"They're actually the biggest killers of Rhinos in the area. So they put this group of experts together, they went out there, they identified them as a problem and they need to be, for a lack of a better term, exterminated for the species to continue."
But Knowlton faces scathing criticism from other animal rights groups.
Critics say these sanctioned hunts will only drive up the price of endangered animals.
"The message it sends around the world is that Americans will throw money to kill one of the last of a species. It's saying that the rarity of this animal is worth more dead than alive. And that is not going to help conserve the Rhino in the long term."
Knowlton says he has not scheduled a time to hunt the Black Rhino in Namibia yet, but he says if the journey goes as planned, it could be the most amazing experience of his life.
"So that end I'm a hunter. I want to experience a Black Rhino. I want to be there and be a part of it. I believe in the cycle of life. I don't believe that meat comes from the grocery store. I believe that animal died and I respect it."
This Black Rhino hunt is authorized by the Namibian Government.
Every year the Country allows up to 5 hunting permits to be auctioned off.
The Government says in the last 15 years, as these permits have been issued, the Black Rhino population has still come back from the brink of extinction.