Last updated on: 6/23/2007 1:47:25 PM by NBC2 News
COLLIER COUNTY: The body of a Florida panther was found Saturday along a rural Collier County highway, making 2007 the deadliest year on record for panthers killed on roadways.
The 12th panther death this year occurred on State Route 29, two miles south of Panther Pass, a pedestrian bridge south of Immokalee, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
After receiving a call from the Collier County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Panther Team leader, Darrell Land, said he picked up the male panther.
The animal, estimated to be 2 to 3 years old, had a kinked tail and no transponder chip.
"The panther will be taken to Gainesville for a necropsy," Land said.
Road strikes are the number one known cause of Florida panther deaths.
The population of the rare mammal is believed to be around 80, making the big cat one of the most endangered species.