Panther killed by vehicle in southwest Florida

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the 6-month-old female cat’s body was found last week in a rural area of Collier County. The remains will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.

A total of 26 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 21 road fatalities.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S., but only around 180 remain in the wild.