Texas Club Auctions Black Rhino Hunting Permit For $350,000

(Miami Zoo photo/file)

DALLAS (January 12, 2014) A permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino has been sold for $350,000 in a closely watched auction that wildlife and animal rights groups criticized.

The Dallas Safari Club and the African nation of Namibia auctioned the permit Saturday to raise money for efforts to protect the black rhino.

Safari Club spokesman Steve Wagner confirmed the sale of the permit at the closed-door event, but declined to name the buyer.

The club’s executive director, Ben Carter, said the rhino the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding and was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.

But critics of the auction say all members of an endangered species should be protected.