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Texas Man Responds to Critics' Fury After Controversial — but Completely Legal — Rhino Hunt

"I believe in the survival of the species."

Image source: Twitter/Work for Wildlife

A Texas man has drawn fury after he engaged in a completely legal hunt of an endangered black rhino.

Corey Knowlton of Texas bid $350,000 in a January 2014 auction for a permit to kill a black rhino in the African country of Namibia, according to CNN.

Of the approximately 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild today, some 2,000 are in Namibia. The country's Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which awarded Knowlton his permit, said 18 of the 2,000 rhinos meet its criteria for being hunted.

While Knowlton was awarded the permit last year, he only traveled to Namibia recently, armed and ready to take on the wild. But his trip has been met with criticism from others who couldn't imagine why he would hunt an endangered animal.

"At this point, the whole world knows about this hunt and I think it's extremely important that people know it's going down the right way, in the most scientific way that it can possibly happen," Knowlton told CNN.

Black rhinos are notoriously territorial, and older rhinos that can no longer reproduce sometimes kill younger rhinos who can procreate. That's one way by which the numbers of black rhinos have declined around the world.

Knowlton acknowledged his many critics whom he says just don't agree with hunting.

Knowlton defended his hunt to CNN, saying that he doesn't want to see black rhinos go extinct, either.

But while activists from around the world will inevitably speak out, Knowlton said, there aren't a whole lot of them in Namibia because people there "understand hunting."

"That's how they make their money," he added.

You can see highlights from Knowlton's journey below:

(H/T: CNN)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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