Rule restricts hunting of rare exotic antelopes

April 4, 2012 2:46:20 AM PDT
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.