The two Florida panthers were found dead, and a few days apart.
Two Florida panthers were found dead days apart from each other, state wildlife officials said.
Officials of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said Tuesday that a 2-year-old man was found dead off of Golden Gate Boulevard in Collier County. It was struck and killed by a vehicle, the Naples Daily News reported.
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Just a few days earlier, on Feb. 15, a female Florida panther was found dead in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The 12-year-old animal the cause of death is not yet known.
The man’s death marked the fifth Florida panther death this year, the newspaper reported.
Florida Panthers are an endangered species and are considered as such since 1967, according to the FWC. In addition to The ‘Sunshine State’, they were once found in states such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
Soon, however, “the panther is currently restricted to less than five percent of its historic range in a single breeding population in south Florida,” the FWC states online.
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The subspecies is threatened mainly by a growing population and development in their habitat.
From 2015, there were an estimated 230 Florida panthers in the wild.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.