Save the Rhino accepts Safari Club funding

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2010:

LONDON–“Save the Rhino, the British
charity set up to protect one of the world’s most
endangered animals, is endorsing shooting them
for fun and is directly profiting from trophy
hunts of other species,” revealed Daniel Foggo
of the London Sunday Times on May 30, 2010.
Foggo said he had learned from Save the
Rhino fundraising manager Lucy Boddam-Whetham
that, as Foggo summarized, “The charity formed
its view on trophy hunting after being approached
by Safari Club International with offers of money
in 2006. Since then the Safari Club has donated
sums of between £6,000 and £10,000 a year.

Safari Club International has so far donated
about £32,000 to Save The Rhino, much of it
raised by auctioning the trophy hunts of other
animals to shooting enthusiasts.
“A British shooting magazine, Sporting
Rifle, has announced an auction of trophy hunts
of animals such as wild boar, muntjac, and red
deer, with all the proceeds to go to Save the
Rhino,” Foggo added.
“No qualms”
Responded Save the Rhino director Cathy
Dean, in a 1,200-word posting to the Save the
Rhino web site, “We have always believed that
sustainable management of wildlife – including
culling, cropping and trophy hunting – is a
necessary conservation tool. It is also a valid
and lawful form of income generation…We
therefore have no qualms about working with
Safari Club International or any other
responsible hunting organization.”
Continued Dean, “We consulted rhino
conservation programs we support in African
countries that allow trophy hunting. We asked
them whether they were willing to be put forward
as the potential beneficiary of Safari
Club-generated funds. One organization ruled
itself out.” The Safari Club “eventually
selected Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa
as the program it wanted to help fund,” Dean
said. “The quasi-governmental organization in
charge of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Ezemvelo KZN
Wildlife, itself employs hunting and the sale of
live animals at game auctions as a way of
generating income. Since 2006,” Dean disclosed,
“Safari Club’s London chapter and the Safari Club
International Foundation have provided financial
support to Save the Rhino International and
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, giving a total to date
of £29,755. In 2009,” Dean added, “we were
invited to apply to the Safari Club International
Small Grants Committee for an unrelated grant and
received £3,876 towards the work of the Lowveld
Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe.”
British Charities Commission filings show
that Save the Rhino had total income of £603.899
in 2008, when it lost £88,074, but spent 61%
more on fundraising in 2009, boosting revenue to
$868,716– worth about $1.3 million in U.S. funds.
Save the Rhino has also operated in the
U.S. since 2006, with a four-member board,
including Dean and Boddam-Whetham, all of them
located in Britain.
Laikipia Wildlife Forum
Both the British and the American
branches of Save the Rhino have been especially
generous to the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, an
association of Kenya landowners formed in 1995,
which leads efforts to repeal the 1977 Kenyan
national prohibition of sport hunting. In 2008
and 2009 the Laikipia Wildlife Forum received a
total of £87,912 from Save the Rhino in Britain,
amounting to 10% of total Save the Rhino grant
allocations worldwide. Although the Laikipia
Wildlife Forum ranked fourth in funding from Save
the Rhino in 2008 and third in 2009, over both
fiscal years combined it was first.
Of a reported $126,657 in Save The Rhino
U.S. program expenditure in fiscal 2009,
$75,908–60%–was granted to the Laikipia
Wildlife Forum.
Save the Rhino founding patrons,
recalled Foggo, “included Douglas Adams author
of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series,
who helped raise its profile by climbing Mount
Kilimanjaro in a rhino costume. Runners in
similar suits completing marathons for the
charity have since become a familiar sight. Save
the Rhino’s current patrons include Martina
Navratilova, the former tennis champion, who
won £86,000 for the charity on the US version of
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

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