Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Florida panther of 2009 struck by vehicle and killed

Florida panther struck by vehicle and killed Sunday
By Naples Daily News staff report
1:59 p.m., Monday, January 12, 2009

NAPLES — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded its first Florida panther death for 2009 over the weekend.

One of the endangered cats, a male panther about 4 years old, was killed Sunday after it was struck by a vehicle in Hendry County east of the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest. The panther did not have a radio tracking collar.

Officials took the panther to the Conservation Commission office in Naples, where it was put in a freezer for a necropsy at a later date, according to the Conservation Commission.

In 2008, 10 panther were killed by vehicles. Florida wildlife officials counted a total of 23 panther deaths, including by other panthers or from natural or unknown causes, in 2008.

Scientists estimate between 100 and 120 panthers survive in the wild, most of them in Southwest Florida.



Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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