Florida panther found dead in Lee County; first reported death of year
* By ERIC STAATS
* Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.
Florida wildlife officials reported this morning the first death of an endangered Florida panther in 2010.
The male panther, between two and three years old, was found last night west of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, about a mile south of Corkscrew Road in Lee County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The panther was found by a citizen who saw vultures feeding and thought they might have found a dead calf, according to this morning's report.
A preliminary investigation has determined the cause of death to be another panther because of puncture wounds on the dead panther's forearms and hind legs and hair embedded in the claws on the rear legs.
Last year was a record year for roadkill deaths of wild panthers, which scientists estimate number between 100 and 120 in South Florida.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org