NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The previously anonymous bidder who won the auction for a black rhino hunt in Africa is a North Texas man.

It was recently leaked that Corey Knowlton made the winning bid. The long-time big game hunting expert is now surrounded by full-time security, because of threats made against him and the Dallas Safari Club.

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“They’re wanting to kill me. They’re wanting [sic] to kill my children. They’re wanting [sic] to skin us alive… they’re wanting to burn my house down,” he said of the type of threats received.

It was late last year when the Club announced the endangered species auction.  The group has said all proceeds will go toward rhino conservation efforts.

There was immediate criticism and the Club began receiving death threats – so many that a number of anticipated bidders were scared away from participating in the event.

Fearing no one would bid on the auction the Safari Club contacted the Knowlton family to gauge their interest. Corey, along with a silent partner, agreed to put up $350,000 for the permit granted by the African country of Namibia.

The auction took place during the 3-day Dallas Safari Club hunting convention. According to Knowlton, the auction was held in a private room and for all intents and purposes there were no other “real” bidders.

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Corey said he has simply put up $350,000 for rhino conservation and anti-poaching causes. He wants people to know that if he hadn’t made the bid there would be less money going toward a good cause

“They don’t know who I am. They don’t know what I’m about. They don’t even understand the process. This actually is the very best thing by scientific biologists experts.

As it stands, Corey said he doesn’t know if he’ll ever go hunt the black rhino. He laughingly said that if he does there’s a good chance the rhino may kill him first.

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