Proceeds from the tender to hunt a white rhino advertised by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife will benefit impoverished residents of KwaMduku in Mkuze, the conservation body’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
“Proceeds of the tender will go to the community and they will use the money for conservation purposes,” Bandile Mkhize said.
Animal rights groups had criticised Ezemvelo for putting out a tender to hunt a white rhino last year. A KwaZulu-Natal businessman reportedly won the right to kill the rhino for R969 000.
“The tender was advertised at the request of the community that owns the reserve as they needed funds for conservation,” Mkhize said.
“We are working with professionals. All decisions are made on scientific evidence and we do our homework before we take the decision to issue out a tender to hunt a rhino.”
He said they were not breaking the law because the hunting was done in a controlled environment and the animal would not be sold on the black market.
“Hunting is legal if it is done within the prescribed laws.”
According to Mkhize KwaZulu-Natal was amongst the three provinces that had reduced rhino poaching in the past two years.
For 2012 Ezemvelo has advertised tenders to hunt animals including giraffe, nyala, zebra and warthog.—Sapa