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For Immediate Release: 01/17/14

Born Free USA Statement on Killing of Black Rhino Auction in Texas

Wildlife conservation leader is saddened by Namibia's decision and calls for action to oppose any permit application to bring the "trophy" to the U.S.

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, a national leader in wildlife conservation and animal welfare, released this statement regarding the killing of a black rhino auction in Texas:

“Born Free USA is saddened by Namibia's misguided and short-sighted decision to allow this black rhino hunt to take place. More importantly we will be mobilizing our grassroots supporters nationwide to oppose any permit application to bring the ‘trophy’ back into America.”

He continued, “With fewer than 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild it is truly shocking that any hunter would consider it sporting to slaughter one. That's not real conservation. Real conservation involves wildlife law enforcement, securing protected areas, and stopping illicit trade. Funds to underwrite these vital, life-saving activities could be provided without carnage.”

“More than 1,000 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone in 2013 -- the highest number in one year on record. The global conservation community and governments everywhere must speak with a unified voice to declare that any killing of any rhino is incompatible with conservation, and for a species as imperiled as the rhino, every animal's life is significant,” Roberts said.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Media contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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