Where the Wild Things Aren’t

By Bill Maher

Here’s everything that’s right/wrong with humans in one sentence:

“The Dallas Safari Club said Friday it aims to raise up to a million dollars for endangered black rhinoceroses by auctioning off a permit to kill one in Namibia.”

Yes, we will donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to save the critically endangered black rhino…so long as we can kill it and then mount its head above the fireplace in a vacation home.

That’s like saying, “I’ll donate $500,000 to orphanages and to combat sex slavery, as long as I can have sex with a Thai boy first.” Just one, though. That’s worth the donation, amirite?

Ben Carter, executive director of the Dallas Safari Club, who I’m guessing I wouldn’t like, said, “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino.” Yes, so that one day there will be enough to get it off the endangered list and you can be free to shoot black rhinos often and liberally. Pardon me if I question your motives. And thanks for the donation. I think.

Maybe it’s me, but when I think of the word “safari” I think of hiring a local guide and taking a jeep out into the African plain and seeing lions and cheetahs and wildebeest in their natural habitat. The operative word being seeing. Seeing those animals would be enough for me to think that experience rather memorable. Hell, I’d even take pictures and show them to my friends back home!

It would never cross my mind to see a black rhino at a watering hole and think, “Oh, my God. Isn’t that incredible? That animal has been around for millions of years, and there are less than 5,000 left, and here I am, laying my eyes on one in the wild! …Dave, grab my gun, will ya? I’m going to drop that sonofabitch!”

I know, I know. Sometimes hunting groups are also great conservation groups. But let’s stop pretending they’re anything but self-interested. They want to keep places wild and preserved so they can have more animals to shoot. Otherwise they’d be called the Dallas Audubon Society.