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US allows Wisconsin hunter to import rare rhino trophy

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News,Associated Press,Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- For the first time since the black rhinoceros was listed as endangered in 1980, federal officials are allowing a hunted-rhino trophy to be imported to the U.S.

David K. Reinke of Madison, Wis., says he killed the rhino in 2009 as part of a conservation effort. He says the 34-year-old male was sterile but still crowded out fertile rivals. Reinke says killing it actually helps the population.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved Reinke's request in March to bring the body back. They say Reinke also contributed $175,000 into Namibia's Game Products Trust Fund.

But the decision angers wildlife supporters.

Wayne Pacelle (puh-SEL'-ee) is with The Humane Society of the United States. He says the decision sets a dangerous precedent that encourages trophy hunters to kill endangered animals.

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