After car accident, FWC releases panther back into the wild

A Florida panther has recovered after it was struck by a vehicle in early December. Unfortunately, car accidents are the most common cause of panther deaths in the state.

On Tuesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Naples Zoo released a critically-endangered Florida panther back into the wild. The panther, nicknamed Logan, was rescued by FWC officials after it was struck by a vehicle in early December, the Naples Zoo said.

Logan was brought to Naples Zoo’s Glass Animal Hospital where he "recovered well," the zoo said.

He was given a full health assessment and fitted with a radio collar before being released back into the wild at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, around 20 miles east of Naples.

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The panther is the first wild Florida panther that has been treated in the Glass Animal Hospital at Naples Zoo since it opened in 2020.

The Florida panther is the most endangered cat in North America. Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

Within the first week of 2021, FWC reported two panther deaths -- a 2-year-old and 3-year-old female panther. Both died after they were struck by a vehicle.

Storyful contributed to this report