19th panther road death reported, matching record

Author: Associated Press

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – A record set in 2012 for the number of endangered panthers killed by vehicles has been matched in southwest Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say a panther whose carcass was found Thursday in Collier County is the 19th big cat killed by a vehicle this year. That matches the statewide record for panther road deaths set two years ago.

Officials say the panther was a female between 3 and 4 years old. The carcass will be taken to the wildlife commission’s lab in Gainesville for a necropsy.

Road collisions account for the vast majority of the two dozen panther deaths reported this year.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern United States, but only around 100 to 180 remain in the wild.

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