NAPLES, Florida — Officials say two Florida panthers were found dead in southwest Florida over the weekend.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that a 16-year-old, collared female was recovered Friday in Big Cypress National Preserve. The cause of death is listed as unknown. A 1-year-old, uncollared male was recovered Sunday just north of the Seminole Tribe's Big Cypress reservation. It was killed in apparent vehicle strike. Both cats will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.
This brings the total number of recorded panther deaths this year to seven, with five killed by vehicles. Florida set a record last year with 25 road kills and 33 overall deaths.
Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S., but only around 180 remain in the wild.
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