First Lee County Florida panther death of 2024, unknown cause of death

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Florida Panther
Florida panther (Credit: CBS News)

The fifteenth endangered Florida panther of 2024 was found dead on Friday, but it’s unclear how the animal died.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Panther Pulse, the Florida panther was found Northeast of the Alico Road and Corkscrew Road intersection in Lee County.

Friday was the first time in 2024 that a dead panther was found in Lee County.

The last time a panther was found dead in Lee County was on Aug. 23, 2022. However, on Oct. 30, 2021, a dead 4-month-old female cub was found on Corkscrew Road, 700 meters West of Alico Road, almost exactly where Friday’s panther was located.

The report says the cause of death, sex and age of the dead feline is unknown.

FWC reports vehicle strikes are the most common cause of death for Florida panthers. Eleven of the 15 panthers found dead in 2024 were due to vehicle strikes, one was struck by a train and three died from unknown causes.

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

Wildlife officials found 13 dead panthers in 2023. However, by June 17, 2022, 17 had been found. Back in 2021, 18 had been found by June 17. By June 17, 2020, 15 dead panthers were found.

The number of deaths of the State animal of Florida reported in 2023 was shockingly low, and the reason for this was unclear, but some had feared it was a bad sign.

The numbers seem to be trending back to the average number of deaths reported in a year. In 2022 and 2021, 27 dead panthers were reported, while 22 were reported in 2020.

Florida Panther
CREDIT: florida-panther-east-collier.jpg, fStop Foundation, Copyrighted, All Rights Reserved – Used by Permission,

Driving the posted speed limits, especially in Panther Crossing zones, can help keep Florida’s state animals safe. Click here to learn more about Panther Crossing zones.

Another way you can help the endangered species is by donating to the Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund. Click here to learn more about how to donate.

Officials believe there are about 200 of these animals left in the wild.

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