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Friday, June 17, 2016

Florida drivers have a bad habit of running over panthers

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 5:00 PM

  • Photo via MyFWC/Facebook
Even though Florida panthers are our state animal and an endangered species, drivers are having a hard time avoiding these embattled felines. 

A driver alerted Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after a 6-month-old female panther was struck by a car in Collier County on June 17.

The big kitten faced no life threatening injuries but is being treated at Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida, where vets found she suffered a bruised lung and a hip bone injury, according to the FWC Facebook page.

The FWC says the baby panther will be transferred to a private conservation facility where she will have "minimal contact with people in the hope she will be able to be released back into the wild."

In the past years, Florida panthers haven't had the best luck with drivers. Back in 2015, Florida set a record with the number of panthers killed by a car or truck.

There were 26 vehicle-caused Florida panther deaths and 37 deaths in total that year, which was also a record. In 2014, Florida drivers killed 10 percent of the panther population in just seven months.

Those aren't good numbers because there are only between 100 and 180 Florida panthers currently in existence, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

To help the panther population, call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922. If using a cell phone, dial #FWC or *FWC. 

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