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Threats made to rhino hunt winner

A US man who paid 350,000 dollars (£218,000) for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino fears for his safety after receiving death threats when his name was leaked onto the internet.

Corey Knowlton said that after being revealed as the winner of a controversial Dallas Safari Club auction, he has hired full-time security. He told Dallas television stations KTVT and WFAA that some people "are wanting to burn my house down".

The Safari Club auctioned the permit to raise money for efforts to protect the black rhino in the south African country of Namibia.

The club says the black rhino in question is older, male and nonbreeding, and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive.

An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, and critics of the auction say all members of an endangered species should be protected.

"I'm a hunter," Knowlton told WFAA. "I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino. If I go over there and shoot it or not shoot it, it's beyond the point."

Knowlton said he believed the hunt would be managed well and that the money would go to save rhinos in the end.

AP

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