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Texas ranchers left with thousands of rare exotic antelopes as new rule prevents hunts
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) ' A new U.S. regulation restricting the hunting of three exotic African antelope species has upset Texas ranchers whose efforts have led to a rise in the animals' numbers.
The rule takes effect Wednesday.
For years, hundreds of Texas ranchers have made big money on exotic antelopes. Hunters pay up to $10,000 to bag just one dama gazelle.
The new rule says hunting the dama gazelle, the scimitar-horned oryx and the addax isn't allowed unless ranchers obtain a permit.
But the Texas-based Exotic Wildlife Association says just 10 percent of ranchers have sought the permits.
Animal-rights groups are happy with the change.
The animals were listed on the Endangered Species Act but were exempt from the no-hunting rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
That rule will now be enforced.