Monday, November 27, 2006
A tenth Florida panther has been killed in a vehicle collision this year, tying a mark for the deadliest year on record for the big cats. A female Florida panther was struck and killed on U.S. 41 East at around 11 p.m. Sunday between Manatee Road and Collier Boulevard, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Darrell Land in an e-mail.
The cat was not wearing a radio collar, nor did it have a transponder chip, so the panther's existence and location were unknown
until its body was found. The panther was killed within a few hundred yards of a middle school and an elementary school on a stretch of U.S. 41 that is slated to be widened from two to six lanes in coming years.
The roadkill record was set at 10 in 2003. Last year, nine panthers died after getting hit.
Scientists estimated between 70 and 100 Florida panthers are left, making the species one of the most endangered on the planet. Almost all of them live south of Lake Okeechobee.