2 dead endangered Florida panthers found on the same day, first time since 2021

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Florida Panthers
Florida panther CREDIT WINK News

Authorities discovered two dead Florida panthers on the same day for the first time since 2021.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Panther Pulse, two male Florida panthers died from getting hit by a car on Sunday.

Up until Nov. 6, there were only eight reported panther deaths. Suddenly, in the last week, four deaths have sprung up in Florida.

The eleventh and twelfth dead panthers of 2023 were discovered in Collier and Hendry Counties. A 4-year-old male Florida panther was found dead in Collier County on Immokalee Road. Also, a 3-year-old male Florida panther was found dead in Hendry County on County Road 833, south of State Road 80.

close up photo of a panther
Photo by Nicky Pe on Pexels.com

All 12 dead Florida panthers in 2023 came from car collisions.

On Nov. 7, a dead female panther was discovered in Glades County, and the day before, a dead male panther was found in Hendry County.

On Sept. 28, 2021, three dead Florida panthers were found on the same day. A female between 10 and 12 years old was found on Daniel’s Parkway, two miles south of SR-82 in Lee County. A 3-year-old male was found on State Road 29, one mile south of I-75 in Collier County, and a young 5-month-old panther was found on Turner River Road, about three miles north of Wagon Wheel Road in Collier County.

A few months earlier, two dead panthers were found on the same day on April 1, 2021. In that case, two 3-month-old panthers died from starvation on private property in Collier County.

Six of the dead panthers discovered this year were male and the other six were female.

Florida Panthers
Florida panther (Credit: CBS News)

By Nov. 13, 2022, 25 dead panthers were discovered in Florida, and at the same point in 2021, 26 dead panthers were found.

If you include the panthers found in 2022, the last 26 deaths occurred due to the animal getting hit by a car. That 27th death, occurring on May 19, was the result of an unknown cause. Then, if you disregard “unknown causes,” the last death that wasn’t the result of a vehicle was 41 panther killings ago, on Jan. 11, 2021.

Panther Crossing is an organization dedicated to making roads safer for the state animal of Florida. When you see a panther crossing sign at night, the speed limit is reduced from 60 to 45 mph. Reducing your speed to 45 mph also saves you a potential ticket costing more than $200.

florida panthers
Panther Crossing sign as a reminder to drive 45 mph is designated zones. CREDIT: WINK News

In September, the state of Florida bought an area of land covering more than 17,000 acres in Hendry County. Part of the purchased land was known as a ‘hot spot’ for fatal panther crashes, and some officials hoped to curb deadly panther crashes with the newly acquired land. The panther discovered on CR-833 was very close to the previously mentioned hot spot.

FWC says there are between 120 and 230 adult Florida panthers in the wild.

Click here to learn more about the state animal of Florida from FWC.

Click here to learn about living with Florida panthers from FWC.

Click here to learn ways to help the endangered species.

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