2-year-old Florida panther hit and killed by vehicle, officials say

Another young female panther was struck and killed by a vehicle in Collier County. So far this year, 18 of the 20 Florida panther deaths were a result of car collisions.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife,  the remains of the 2-year-old panther were found Thursday morning on Interstate 75 near Mile Marker 89. Last week, a 4-year-old female panther died following a vehicle crash in Collier County.

Among the 18 panther deaths due to vehicle crashes: 9 were in Collier County, 3 in Hendry County, 3 in Glades County, 2 in Lee County, and 1 in Polk County.

The other two panther deaths – a 2-month-old and a 5-month-old panther – occurred in Collier County, but their cause of death is unknown, reports FWC..

READ: Florida wildlife officials help panther reunite with 4-month-old kitten

Back in the 1970s the panther population had plummets to about three dozen. Now, it is estimated to be more than 200. Conservationists are trying to protect as much green space as possible. The Nature Conservancy, a worldwide organization, is responsible for protecting more than a million acres alone.

They are also trying to develop wildlife corridors so that panthers and other critters are able to safely travel from one area to the next without risking the danger of roads and highways.

RELATED: Majority of Florida panther deaths in 2021 were due to vehicle crashes

Last year, the majority of Florida panther deaths were due to vehicle crashes

Wildlife officials recorded a total of 27 panther deaths. According to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 21 panthers – one as young as four months old – died after they were struck by a vehicle.