Seems the allocation of black rhino hunting permits has become such a hot potato that almost no one wants to talk about it. As Jackson points out, all five permits have been allocated to various provinces in South Africa specifically, to Free State (one), Limpopo (one), Mpumalanga (two) and North West (one). But who in the provinces is going to offer hunts? Near press time, we sent e-mails to the appropriate authorities in the above-mentioned provinces and received two replies. The first is from Hannes Blom, Assistant Director, Professional Hunting in the Free State, who told us the available permit in his province had been allocated and that a foreign client has already paid a deposit for the animal. However, I do not know when the animal will be hunted, he writes. If something happens that the client does not want to hunt it, I will let you know immediately. Hannes did not volunteer who the permit holder is or how we could get in touch with him.
The other reply we got was from Daan Buijs in North West Province, who told us the province indeed had been allocated one black rhino permit, but he had not received any permit applications yet. He went on to note that the Parks and Tourism Board in his province is the only owner of black rhinos, so we should really get in touch with them. At press time we did just that, but no one had replied.
The only other scrap of information we could dig up about........(continued)