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The word "auction" usually conjures up images of priceless art, fine wines or celebrity memorabilia. It rarely makes us think of a near-threatened species of rhinoceros. However, those rich enough to splash out in excess of $10 million can bid for 1,993 white rhinos on May the 1st, which is International Save the Rhino Day. The majestic beasts are being sold by multi-millionaire conservationist John Hume, a South African entrepreneur. He started a rhino breeding project with about 200 animals 30 years ago. He managed to increase his stock of the animals ten-fold. Mr Hume is also selling the 8,500-hectare ranch 100 miles south-east of Johannesburg where the rhinos live.
Mr Hume's ranch is home to more than 10 per cent of the world's total rhino population. Hume has spent $150 million of his personal fortune on increasing rhino numbers, but can no longer afford to maintain the creatures. His expenses include vets' bills, security guards to keep poachers at bay and a helicopter for air patrols. He told reporters: "I've used all my life savings spending on that population of rhinos for 30 years and I finally ran out of money. I'm hoping that there is a millionaire that would rather save the population of rhinos from extinction than own a super-yacht." Hume lamented that: "Rhinos are underdogs. They stand the least chance of surviving poaching."
- What does the word "auction" make us think about besides art and wine?
- How many white rhinos will be auctioned?
- When is International Save the Rhino Day?
- When did the seller start breeding rhinos?
- Where do the rhinos currently live?
- What proportion of the world's rhinos does the seller own?
- What outgoings does the seller have besides paying for vets and guards?
- What has the seller used all of on looking after the rhinos?
- Who does the seller hope will save the rhinos?
- What did the seller call rhinos?
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