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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.

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