Injured Florida panther will become permanent resident at ZooTampa

- A Florida panther that lost one of its paws will have a new home.

The endangered animal, who has been named Walter, was found with his left foot caught in a snare in Highlands County last year. He was brought to ZooTampa -- the new name for Lowry Park Zoo -- where veterinarians were unable to save his front paw after losing four claws. 

“We knew right away he wasn’t going to be a releasable panther," said Dr. Ray Ball with ZooTampa. 

Since then, zoo officials said they have provided daily oversight for Walter to recover and learn to walk again. They said he cannot survive in the wild with three paws, so he will have a permanent home at the zoo. His habitat will have modifications to accommodate him.

The zoo said he will be introduced to the new home this week, and will remain in his indoor habitat until he becomes more comfortable. Eventually, he will join two other rescued panthers in a habitat where guests can see Walter. 

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