Black rhino hunt winner target of death threats - Dallas News |

Black rhino hunt winner target of death threats

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The winner of a controversial auction to hunt an endangered black rhino in Africa said he has been deluged with death threats.

Corey Knowlton is a professional hunter who specializes in exotic destinations and trophy animals in remote parts of the world. But he said nothing he faced in the wild prepared him for the firestorm that has happened after winning the rhino hunt auction.

"Shocked is an understatement," said Knowlton. "I don't know if anyone can correctly vocalize the emotion you get when somebody says 'I want to find your daughter, your 2-year-old daughter and your 7-year-old daughter and skin them alive."

Knowlton bid $350,000 for the rhino hunt permit in an auction sponsored by the Dallas Safari Club.

The auction triggered protests outside the club's annual convention earlier this month in Dallas and a wave of negative comments online. Game show host Bob Barker, a noted animal-rights activist, even penned an open letter to the club denouncing the hunt.

But Knowlton reiterated the hunt is carefully put together by the government of Namibia annually and said the rhino being killed is an older, non-breeding male that has been aggressive.

"It's a conservation hunt, it's not let's just go hunting and shoot a Rhino," said Knowlton.

Knowlton said he's been told by the FBI that they are treating the threats as real and he should as well.

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