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Groups seek red wolf protection from coyote hunt

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Wildlife and environmental groups are asking a North Carolina court to block a new rule allowing coyotes to be hunted at night with spotlights after the shooting death of a similar-looking but endangered red wolf.

The groups expect to face state attorneys representing the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at a hearing next week where a judge could decide whether to freeze the statewide hunting rule that took effect in August.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered a reward after a red wolf wearing a radio collar was shot to death last month near Creswell in Tyrrell County.

About 100 red wolves live wild in a five-county region in northeast North Carolina, where scientists are trying to restore one of the two wolf breeds native to North America,

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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