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The South African Rhino Auction in the Name of Conservation

Shopping for Rhinos (Aug 1996)
Deep in the parkland of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, an extraordinary auction is about to take place. The Umfolozi-Lhulhuwe Park combines conservation with commerce. To raise funds, it farms out rhinos, giraffes and deer to zoos and parks from all over the world.

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Out in the tawny grassland, a vet and team of wardens are hunting down a white rhino with tranquillizer guns. Once stunned, their muscular victim lies unconscious with its hooves trembling. A helicopter hovers above, ready to hoist the rhino - wrapped in a cargo net - to the auction. In a stripy marquee, the feverish bidding begins. Tense faces listen to the auctioneer's babble as six black rhinos are sold for $300,000. Inevitably some of the animals are sold to Safari hunters. Park authorities maintain that profit raised for conservation justifies game hunting. A wildlife report which highlights the commercial realities of conservation.

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Produced by ABC Australia - Ref 0249
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

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