Rhino hunt auction winner receiving death threats

A North Texas man who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt an endangered African black rhino said he's had to hire full-time security due to death threats after his name was leaked onto the Internet.

Corey Knowlton told Dallas television stations WFAA and KTVT that he won last week's Dallas Safari Club auction to hunt a black rhino in the African nation of Namibia. The club says the permit was auctioned to raise money for efforts to protect and conserve the species.

And in interviews with both CBS and CNN, Outdoor Channel host Corey Knowlton says he's received a barrage of threats against him and his family.

"They're wanting to kill me," he said. "They're wanting to kill my children. They're wanting to skin us alive."

He told KTVT that threats made to organizers before the auction led the Safari Club to contact him and see if he would bid. Knowlton and a silent partner raised the money to make the bid, he said.

His name was posted on Facebook and then picked up by websites that publicized his involvement in the auction. 

An estimated 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild, and the auction drew critics who said all members of an endangered species deserve protection.

"I'm a hunter," Knowlton told WFAA. "I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino. If I go over there and shoot it or not shoot it, it's beyond the point."

—Newsy.com and The Associated Press contributed

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