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The good news just turned to horrible =..{ August 03, 2010 7:42 PM

Panther Advocates, A pregnant panther survived being struck by a vehicle on SR 29 and is being treated for her injuries at White Oak Plantation in north Florida. Her three unborn kittens did not survive. Elizabeth From: FWCNews [] Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 5:12 PM To: FWCNews Subject: FWC News Release: Panther recovering from vehicle collision injuries For immediate release: August 3, 2010 Contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130 Photo: Go to and click on the headline for this story. Panther recovering from vehicle collision injuries Sometime in the early morning hours Tuesday, a female panther was struck by a vehicle on State Road 29 near Immokalee in Collier County. A passing motorist saw the injured animal on the side of the road, and in less than an hour biologists and a law enforcement officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were on the scene performing triage and assessing the condition of the panther. “She was alive and responsive,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader. “We immobilized the animal and transported her to Golden Gate Animal Clinic in Naples, where veterinarian John Lanier discovered she was pregnant and carrying at least three mid-term kittens.” After the panther was stabilized, Erin Myers, a veterinarian with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Mark Lotz, a member of the FWC’s panther team, transported her to the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, where veterinarians announced some good and some bad news. The panther would survive; however, the unborn kittens did not survive the trauma from the accident. Land said that without a doubt the panther had been hit by a vehicle in an area where other panthers have been killed when struck by vehicles. This panther will survive, but others have not been so fortunate. Fourteen panthers have died so far this year on Florida roadways. “When traveling in panther country between dusk and dawn, it is extremely important that motorists drive with caution,” Land said. “Panthers are active during this time, and these roads go right through their habitat.” The panther population has increased steadily since the 1980s, when the population had dwindled to 20-30. Its increase to a current estimate of at least 100 is a success story, but one tempered with the knowledge that an increasing population means more opportunity for vehicle collisions. The natural expansion of the panther population means that panther sightings may start to increase throughout Florida, however, the majority of the population still resides south of Lake Okeechobee. Land urges motorists to report injured or dead panthers to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). The injured panther will be taken to White Oak Plantation, a private wildlife conservation center in North Florida, where she will remain until ready to be released back into the wild. There are several ways to help the Florida panther. The Wildlife Foundation of Florida established a fund to aid in the recovery of injured or orphaned Florida panthers as well as other conservation needs. This fund goes directly to the FWC to assist with rare and unanticipated events. To donate, go to and click on “Programs.” Panther research and management funding comes directly from the additional fees collected when individuals purchase the “Protect the Florida panther” specialty license plate. Money also goes to law enforcement to increase patrols in the areas where panthers reside in South Florida. To purchase a specialty license plate, visit “We can all assist with helping the panther survive,” Land said. “Buy a specialty plate to help fund research, management and enforcement or make a donation to the foundation. Most of all, slow down in panther territory. All of that will benefit Florida’s state animal, the endangered panther.” To find out more about the Florida panther, visit

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 August 03, 2010 8:19 PM

Well it is amazingly good news the female survived her injuries and very sad 3 unborn babies died that would have added to the dwindling population. I hope she won't have a setback and continue to recover.

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The poor momma, she's gone now too... August 04, 2010 4:08 PM Published: August 4, 2010 Updated: 02:46 pm TAMPA - A pregnant Florida panther hit by a vehicle in Southwest Florida died this morning in Gainesville a day after being struck. The three cubs it was carrying died earlier. The panther was found alive alongside State Road 29 about five miles south of Immokalee about 2 a.m. Tuesday. A passing driver called 911 but officials do not know who hit the endangered cat. The panther was struck only a few miles from where a young male was killed by a car in June. The latest death means 14 panthers have died this year, not including the three kittens the panther was carrying. Florida panthers have been listed as an endangered species since 1967. An estimated 100 to 200 remain in the state. The pregnant panther was taken to a veterinarian in Naples where it was stabilized and then transported to the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine, said Patricia Behnke, a spokeswoman for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Biologists believe a combination of injuries from the accident and stress from long sedation combined to kill the panther, Behnke said. The panther had to be under sedation for treatment and for the safety of itself and people caring for it. "Wild animals do not handle sedation for a long time and they do not make good patients. You can't hook them to monitors," she said. Earlier examinations led officials to believe the panther was in relatively good shape. Veterinarians did not believe it was bleeding internally and expected it to recover, Behnke said. The panther had an injured hip but was able to stand and walk and her tail and some toes were broken. The cubs had not been removed from their mother, which may have contributed to its death. In addition to the 14 panthers that died this year, wildlife workers found the skeletal remains of another in January. Commission biologists believe that panther died several months before its remains were discovered, though they do not know how it died. Of the 14 panthers killed in 2010, 11 were struck by vehicles. Three died in fights with other panthers. Drivers in panther habitat need to be cautious between dusk and dawn when the animals are active, Behnke said. "They need to slow down," she said. To reduce the possibility of cars encountering cats, the state built wildlife underpasses on Interstate 75 and State Road 29 and installed fence on portions two of the major roads through panther habitat. But fencing isn't a perfect solution, Behnke said, because it divides habitat the panthers use. Also, it would cost up to $4 million to fence State Road 29. However, panther safety will be looked at when the state goes ahead with plans to widen State Road 29 to four lanes. "These concerns are going to come up and have to be addressed," Behnke said. The state's panther population is mostly confined to the state's tip south of the Caloosahatchee River, or roughly from the middle of Lake Okeechobee south. Some young males have been found north of the river looking for territories of their own. No female panthers, that need less than half the range of a male, have been found north of the river. A male needs about 200 square miles while females, that share territory with their mothers, need about 75.

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 August 05, 2010 6:05 AM

Oh, Ceci, I'm so sorry to hear that.
It's a real tragedy........

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 August 05, 2010 2:27 PM

Again more die............sigh..........when the hell are they going to stop these idiots from driving too fast and.  I'm however grateful to the driver who at least had the decency to call for help for her.  One is better than but sad never the less....what a tragic loss.

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I Just Donated August 05, 2010 3:29 PM

I just donated to the injured panthers program with the Florida Wildlife people, since the link was mentioned in this discussion.

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Thanks my friends... August 05, 2010 5:57 PM

You all inspire me to work so much harder for them. And Candi thanks for helping them out, much appreciated my friend. I've been on the horn a few times with Elizabeth from Defenders, they have some projects in the works that are definitely happening, unfortunately not soon enough for this girl and her babies...

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panthers August 09, 2010 3:06 PM

for this deadly section , has any one thought about building an underpass for the panthers and other wild animals at all?  they don't need to fence up the whole road, just the deadly part or section if several under pass is too much money. and some big tall speed bumps will slow any jerks down.

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We're on it my friend! August 09, 2010 3:21 PM

Defenders is working on some things for this area, I'm going to get more details and post them here.

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 August 10, 2010 12:26 AM

Can't wait to see more sis.  I do hope they do more passes for them.

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 August 21, 2010 3:29 PM

It's so disturbing Ceci. There just HAS to be a way to resolve this tragic issue. Knowing Defenders their plans are always encouraging and helpful. I have supported Defenders for many years and love the work they do.

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Florida Panthers: Can We Save Them?
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