Panther kitten rescued by wildlife officers

-  An orphaned panther kitten was rescued in Collier County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said.

The kitten, believed to be 4-months-old, was rescued in early November at the Collier-Seminole State Park campground.

FWC officials said the panther kitten’s mother was fatally struck by a car on U.S. 41 near the park. Before the mother was killed, staff at the park had photographed her with three kittens.

Wildlife officers started rescue efforts for the kittens by setting up traps and cameras in the area. Shortly after that, a male kitten was found deceased inside the park.

FWC continued monitoring the traps and on Nov. 2, the female panther kitten was captured. The third kitten was spotted two days later in the same area, but was never captured or seen again.

The rescued kitten was taken to a rehabilitation facility at the Naples Zoo. Because it was orphaned so young, officials said it cannot be released back into the wild.

FWC is urging drivers to slow down in posted panther zones.

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