Reward increased for information about death of endangered Florida panther

Author: wink news
The Florida panther via a file photo from the U.S. Geological Survey/ photo by Larry Richardson.
FILE: The Florida panther via a file photo from the U.S. Geological Survey/ photo by Larry Richardson/FILE.

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- In response to the illegal shooting of an endangered Florida panther, the Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity and Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The pledge, along with a $5,000 reward offered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pushes to $15,000 the total reward being offered.

Investigators are searching for information about the shooting death of the panther, which was first reported on March 22 after a passing motorist spotted the dead animal.

FWC officers determined the panther died from a gunshot wound, with no evidence indicating a vehicle collision. Since 2014, 51 Florida panthers have been discovered dead, out of a population estimated at no more than 180. The majority of the deaths were due to human causes, mostly collisions with vehicles.

There are only 100 to 180 Florida panthers remaining in the wild. Though the animals’ historical range included most of the southeastern United States, they can now only be found in South Florida.

Harming a Florida panther is a violation of the Endangered Species Act and is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine per individual or $200,000 per organization.

Killing a Florida panther is also a third-degree felony under state law and is punishable by up to five years in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine.

Anyone with information about this incident may call the FWC’s 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. For those wishing to remain anonymous, please use or go online to

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