By Jennifer Viegas
Black Rhino $120,000
Nearly any animal can be legally killed in many parts of Africa, so long as the hunter pays the right amount of money. For rare and endangered species, the cost can escalate to thousands of U.S. dollars, suggests documentation issued by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management in Zimbabwe.
"National parks are obviously trying to make money," Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told Discovery News. "The hunters have to pay the parks if they want to shoot the animals."
It can be a Catch-22, since the parks often struggle to pay their staff, which include those who work to care for and protect the animals. Permitting a hunter to shoot a black rhino yields a quick $120,000. The high price tag may serve as a deterrent, but it also reflects how much poachers can earn without even benefiting the parks.
African Elephant $50,000
With Tusks, $40,000 Without The payment needed to legally shoot an elephant drops to $50,000 in Zimbabwe, with a further loss of $10,000 if the elephant has no tusks. "The reason rhinos are more valuable than elephants is because the horn is so valuable and in such high demand by the Chinese," Rodrigues said.
$20,000 can allow hunters with appropriate permits to kill several rare animals in many parts of Africa. Leopards are on that list, even though The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists them as "threatened."
The price tag on lions is also $20,000. In terms of what happens to the dead animals, "As far as I know," Rodrigues said, "once the animals are hunted, they are exported to the hunter's home country." Upon arrival, the hunter may preserve the animal's dead body and put it on display. More....