For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2014
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Dallas, Texas – As the Dallas Safari Club prepares to auction off a license to kill an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia—a much-criticized move that the club has defended by explaining that it will preselect an animal who is “old and unable to reproduce”—TV icon Bob Barker has fired off a letter urging the club to call off the auction, writing, “As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like rather a harsh way of dealing with senior citizens.” Barker goes on to point out that killing an endangered animal for money is no way to fight poaching (that is, killing endangered animals for money).
Bob Barker’s letter to the Dallas Safari Club is available below.
Ben Carter, Executive Director
The Dallas Safari Club
13709 Gamma Rd.
Dallas, TX 75244
Dear Mr. Carter:
I am writing to ask you to call off your planned auction of a chance to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia. The rhino that your organization reportedly has in its crosshairs is an older “non-breeding” male who has apparently been deemed expendable. As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like a rather harsh way of dealing with senior citizens.
I can certainly sympathize with this animal’s plight (and I would think that many of your older members could as well). How many seniors have been written off simply because they have a certain number of birthdays under their belts? But just because you’re “retired” doesn’t mean you don’t have anything more to offer. In fact, I personally feel that I’ve accomplished a great deal since I quit my day job. Surely, it is presumptuous to assume that this rhino’s life is no longer of any value. What of the wisdom that he has acquired over the course of a long life? What’s the world coming to when a lifetime’s experience is considered a liability instead of an asset?
There are only about 5,000 black rhinos still alive in Africa. What kind of message does it send when we put a $1 million bounty on one of their heads? These animals are endangered for that very reason: money. What makes you any better than the poachers who kill rhinos to feed their families? At least, they are honest about their less noble motives. You try to dress up greed under the guise of “conservation.”
True conservationists are those who pay money to keep rhinos alive—in the form of highly lucrative eco-tourism—as opposed to those who pay money for the cheap thrill of taking this magnificent animal’s life and putting his head on a wall.
If you want someone’s head to go on a wall, pick mine. I will happily send you an autographed photo to auction off instead. My mug may not fetch as much money as that of a dead rhino, but at least we’ll all live to enjoy another sunrise in our sunset years.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.