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Ban Lifted on Hunting Black Rhinos - 2004-10-04

Wildlife conservationists and government delegates meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, have lifted a ban on hunting the rare black rhinoceros in southern Africa.

Members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) approved a request by Namibia Monday for an annual quota of five black rhinos for trophy hunters.

CITES approved the same hunting limit for South Africa, which halved its original request for a 10-rhino quota in order to address concerns raised by conservationists.

Delegates at the meeting who favored continuing the ban on black-rhino hunting say the endangered animals are still targets for poachers. The horn of the black rhinoceros is highly valued for medicinal purposes in east Asia, and in the Middle East, where it also is used for dagger handles.

In another decision today, CITES doubled hunting quotas for leopards in Namibia and South Africa.