TODAY   |  January 12, 2014

Permit to hunt endangered rhino sells for $350K

A Texas club auctioned off a permit to kill a Namibian black rhino for $350,000, beating the previous high for one of the five licenses Namibia issues each year. The proceeds will benefit a conservation fund. TODAY’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> an update on a story we told you about yesterday. it was about the dallas hunting club getting death threats over a permit to shoot an endangered african rhino. the permit sold for $350,000. money the club says will help conserve the rhinos. janet shamlian explains.

>> it's i think a message that this animal is worth more rare and dead than alive with healthy populations. that's not conservation.

>> reporter: the winner whose name was not released bid a record $350,000 with all proceeds going to a nah mibian conservation fund. the auction was full of exhibits like these angered some to the point of death threats against club members which prompted tightened security and the fbi getting involved.

>> i've had threats on my life, my family's life. our members have been e-mailed, they've threatened our members.

>> reporter: with fewer than 5,000 black rhinos in the wild, opponents say there's no valid reason to kill one, those the u.s. wildlife service okayed the permit. for today, janet shamlian , nbc news, houston.