Panther death toll on Southwest Florida roads rises to 34

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Wildlife officials say two more endangered Florida panthers have been killed in vehicle collisions.

According to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release, the remains of a 2-year-old female panther were recovered Friday, and the remains of a female panther kitten were recovered Saturday.

Wildlife officials say both were killed in Lee County

So far this year, 34 panthers have been killed on southwest Florida’s roads. That’s up from 30 fatal collisions with vehicles in 2015. Only about 180 of the big cats remain in the wild.

In its November newsletter , the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge reported that officials are reviewing existing wildlife crossings, animal detection systems and reduced speed limits implemented over the last decade to protect panthers trying to cross the roads that now divide their habitat.

If you have any information about dead or injured panthers, you are asked to call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Reporter:Britni McDonald
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