By Daily News staff
Friday, June 15, 2007
The death of a rare Florida panther on a Lee County road Thursday afternoon was the 11th panther death this year in Florida.
The 10th panther death was Monday, in Collier County.
Thursday's collision ties a record for most panther strikes in a year, a milestone that took nearly 12 months to reach when it was established last year. This year, it took a mere six months and 14 days.
An 83-pound male panther, believed to be 12-15 months old, was hit and killed around 4 p.m. Thursday on State Road 82 about 3/4 of a mile west of Sunshine Boulevard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said today. A witness said the animal appeared to be crossing S.R. 82 toward the north when it was run down.
Road strikes are the number one known cause of panther deaths. The Florida panther population is believed to hover around 80, making the big cat one of the most endangered creatures on the planet.
The panther struck Thursday wasn't wearing a radio collar -- about 30 do. The panther was taken to Gainesville on Thursday for a necropsy.