US government approves Dallas hunting club's permit to import trophy of endangered rhino

The U.S. government will allow a Texas man to import the carcass of an endangered black rhinoceros he hopes to kill in Africa as part of a conservation fundraiser.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that importing the carcass from Namibia meets criteria of benefiting the conservation of the species. The hunter, Corey Knowlton, bid $350,000 at an auction last year that the Dallas Safari Club billed as a fundraising effort to save the black rhino.

But the agency also is allowing Michael Luzich, a Las Vegas investment manager, to import his sport-hunted black rhino trophy to the U.S. Namibia directly sold him a hunting permit.

Human Society chief executive Wayne Pacelle says the federal agency is sending a "mixed message," noting rhino poaching is on the rise.