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Source:  CBS News

Texas is the epicenter of the exotic animal industry in the U.S.

5 Star Outfitters is one of the many hundreds of hunting ranches in Texas that stock their grounds with exotic animals like the wildebeest.

There’s no official count, but some estimates place the number of such exotic hunting ranches in the thousands.  According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which has oversight over hunts in the state, an exotic animal is defined as any animal that isn’t indigenous to Texas.

“The domestic wildlife trade is the dirty underbelly of trophy hunting industry,” said Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, an animal welfare group that opposes the practice.

Block described the hunting of exotics in the U.S. as canned hunts, motivated by the desire to obtain a so-called trophy.

“Animals are fenced-in, hand-reared, hand-fed, and they’re baited so food is out when hunters come,” Block told CBS News.  “Hunters are then driven up to the area where animal is eating and they’re shot there.”

Watch Trophy Hunting: Killing or Conservation?” above and read the story at CBS News.

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