Reached by phone shortly after the rhino was taken, Thormahlen said it measures as follows: front horn - just over 20 inches in length, with a base of 24 inches; back horn - eight inches in length with a 22-inch base. If those approximate figures turn out to be accurate, the rhino would rank about 14 in the SCI Record Book. The all-in cost of the rhino hunt, Thormahlen says, was $150,000. The property where the rhino was taken is said to measure about 1,200 acres.
Word of the Thormahlen rhino being taken for $150,000 has created a scramble among safari operators and agents who have been circulating hunt offers for as much as $195,000. Two agents we spoke with were at first incredulous at the low prices, especially the offering price ($125,000) we heard for a second rhino on the property where the first one was taken.
The relatively low level black rhino hunt prices have reached is due in large part to uncertainty over US import of black rhino trophies. The South African hunting community already knows that revenue from the hunt of this first black rhino, and the four subsequent ones, must demonstrably contribute to rhino conservation before the US Fish & Wildlife Service will allow imports. Conservation Force's John J. Jackson, III, has offered to help any American client who hunts a black rhino and wants to clear it for import into the US. Jackson can be reached at: 504-837-1233.
Concern about the importability of this trophy should not be allowed to overshadow the importance of what has happened. Our congratulations to the client, to Peter Thor- mahlen and to........(continued)