Panther killed on southwest Florida highway; 11th road kill of year

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ESTERO, Florida — Officials say a Florida panther was killed by a vehicle on a southwest Florida highway.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the uncollared male was hit by multiple vehicles during rush hour Thursday morning on Interstate 75 near Estero. The remains will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.

This is the 17th Florida panther killed this year, the 11th by a vehicle strike.

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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