Conservation Force has received a great deal of “hate emails” over the black rhino import permit for Namibia. Except in the case of the most obscene instances, we have responded with a short, simple form letter. The email response has proven very effective and hopefully reflects well on the greater hunting community. It takes little to respond and you would not believe how well it is working. Most people are seriously misinformed and embarrassed that they jumped to conclusions that are not warranted. The form of the letter may be useful for others to reply in similar circumstances. The letter follows:
Thank you for caring about Namibia’s black rhino.
Believe me, you have been misinformed by people who know little or nothing and don’t contribute at all. The rhino in Namibia are recognized by all reputable experts and authorities as being the best managed in the world. The 177 Parties of CITES have established a hunting trade quota/limit of 5 per year of rhino certified to be post-reproduction males that are killing calfs and reproducing cows and younger males. Did you know that 50 percent of male rhino die of fighting wounds, not poaching? 30 percent of the females die that way. When a population reaches a certain density it is necessary to separate them, but then the old translocated bulls kill young, robust bulls, cows and calfs at the new location.
The regulated, licensed hunting is a very select reduction that saves the lives of innocent rhino and accelerates the recovery of the population. Also, the revenue is deposited in a government/public trust fund that is spent exclusively on the rhino and related management, including anti-poaching. Of course, the revenue is essential. The real experts such as CITES, the Rhino Specialist Group of the IUCN, WWF, USFWS, and - yes - Conservation Force, all care and support the permit and are fulfilling their missions. These rhino are in safe hands.
Please do help by making a tax-deductible donation and you are welcome to dedicate it to black rhino conservation, in which case we will direct it to anti-poaching for rhino.
Rest easy, the token hunt is part of a tested conservation strategy and has undergone over a decade of scrutiny before implementation.
John J. Jackson, III