FWC: Remains of 1-year-old panther found near Fort Myers; 9th death in 2021 caused by car accident

Image of a Florida panther (FOX 13/ File)

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

It’s the ninth panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of 14 total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The remains of the 1-year-old female panther were found Monday in Lee County on Interstate 75 near Fort Myers, 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.

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Last year, FWC said at least 20 panthers were killed in total, and most of them were caused by people.

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.