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Dallas club says endangered rhino hunt to be canceled if US denies permit to import carcass

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DALLAS — A Texas hunting club says it will cancel an endangered black rhinoceros hunting trip if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denies a request to bring the dead animal back to the U.S. as a trophy.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2014 file image from video provided by WFAA.com, Corey Knowlton, winner of a rare permit to hunt endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia, speaks during an interview in Dallas. The Dallas Safari Club, the hunting club that auctioned off the permit, said it will cancel the hunt if a the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denies Knowlton’s request to bring the dead animal back to the U.S. as a trophy. (AP Photo/WFAA.com, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2014 file image from video provided by WFAA.com, Corey Knowlton, winner of a rare permit to hunt endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia, speaks during an interview in Dallas. The Dallas Safari Club, the hunting club that auctioned off the permit, said it will cancel the hunt if a the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denies Knowlton’s request to bring the dead animal back to the U.S. as a trophy. (AP Photo/WFAA.com, File)

Corey Knowlton bid $350,000 at a January Dallas Safari Club auction for a rare permit to hunt the animal in Namibia. Decimated by poaching, there are less than 5,000 black rhinos worldwide.

The club billed it as a fundraiser to save the endangered species. Executive director Ben Carter says the money would go to a special fund administered by the Namibian government for habitat restoration and game scouting.

The federal agency says it's evaluating whether the hunt will achieve the goal of "enhancing the survival of the species."

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