FWC: Florida panther struck and killed by vehicle is fourth 2021 death related to fatal collisions

Another endangered Florida panther has died after being struck by a vehicle.

It’s the fourth panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of six total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The remains of the 7-year-old female panther were found Saturday in Lee County on a rural road near Wild Turkey Strand Preserve, wildlife officials said.

Within the first week of the year, a 3-year-old female panther and a 2-year-old female panther died after they were struck by a vehicle.

Later in January, another 2-year-old panther was killed after it was hit by a vehicle. The remains of the male panther were also located near Wild Turkey Strand Preserve.

In 2020, a total of 22 Florida panther deaths were reported, with 19 killed by vehicles.

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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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report