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Panther fatally struck by vehicle in southwest Florida; 16 killed on roads this year

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LABELLE, Florida — Another endangered Florida panther has been struck and killed by a vehicle on a southwest Florida road.

According to panther biologist Mark Lotz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the remains of the panther were collected Monday on State Road 80 about 5 miles west of LaBelle in Hendry County.

The panther was male and 2 or 3 years old.

It's the 25th panther death this year, and the 16th to be caused by a collision with a car or truck.

State officials say the rising number of vehicle strikes and other encounters with humans indicate that Florida's current management plan for panthers isn't working. Critics say the state still isn't doing enough to protect the roughly 180 panthers remaining in the wild.

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