RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A judge has temporarily halted nighttime coyote hunting in five North Carolina counties after a fifth endangered red wolf was found shot to death.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway issued an injunction Wednesday at the request of the Southern Environmental Law Center and other groups that filed suit, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported.
The judge said the temporary nighttime hunting rule established by the state Wildlife Resources Commission in August, to deal with complaints of predators killing livestock, was outside the scope of the law and wolves could pay the price, the newspaper said.
"We're pleased with the decision," center attorney Derb Carter said. "We hope this will reduce the shooting of red wolves."
Gordon Myers, executive director of the wildlife commission, said the agency accepts the decision, but added "it is important to note that this is a decision on a preliminary injunction only" and the agency's staff is "confident of our position and its merits."