By Daily News staff
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
There is one less panther in Southwest Florida today. Officials recovered the body of a male panther found on State Route 29 leading up to an overpass just South of Jerome, yesterday morning.
"He was about two years old," said Dave Onorato, panther research section leader for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "He was hit pretty hard."
The panther probably weighed around 75 to 100 pounds, he said.
This is the tenth panther road kill this year, just one away from the 11 total panther road kills in 2006.
Throughout the state of Florida there are approximately 80 to 100 panthers, Onorato said.
"He definitely wasn’t collared," said Onorato. More than likely he also did not have a transponder, he said.
Every animal Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission catches or works with receives a transponder, which is a tracking chip inserted under the skin of the animal’s neck, Onorato said.
If it is an unmarked animal, then the positive thing is there are more animals that are undocumented out there, Onorato said.
The panther was sent to Gainesville for a necropsy where they will ultimately determine whether or not there was a transponder in the panther, Onorato said. The panther’s remains will be deposited with the Florida Museum of Natural History, he said.