The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
estimate there's only 100-180 panthers in Florida and within the past 7 months, 17 panthers have been struck by a car. This means, Florida motorists have offed nearly 10 percent of the total panther population.
As of now, we're on track to top last year's numbers. According to the Washington Post
, Florida drivers killed 24 panthers in 2014, making "death by car" the most common form of panther death in the Sunshine State.
These figures come at a time when the Conservation Commission is rallying to cut what little protection remains for our state's official animal, which would involve stripping the cat of its endangered status from the federal Endangered Species Act.
Liesa Priddy, who was appointed to the Conservation Commission by Rick Scott in 2012 and who also owns a 400 head cattle ranch, claims she lost 10 calves to panthers, each worth about $1,000. She later told the Tampa Bay Times,
"I don't see anything in this policy that's going to benefit me personally."