Madison hunter allowed to import rare rhino trophy

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, said he killed the rhino in 2009 as part of a conservation effort. He said the 34-year-old male was sterile but still crowded out fertile rivals. Reinke said 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 said Reinke also contributed $175,000 into Namibia’s Game Products Trust Fund.

But the decision angers wildlife supporters.

Wayne Pacelle is with The Humane Society of the United States. He said the decision sets a dangerous precedent that encourages trophy hunters to kill endangered animals.