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Rare Release of Florida Panther Could Help Save Species

Rare Release of Florida Panther Could Help Save Species

Florida panthers were among the first to go on the Endangered Species List back in 1973 when there were as few as 20 remaining individuals. Today they are still in great peril with as few as 100-160 in the wild, but biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) successfully released one female Florida panther into the Picayune Strand State Forest recently with the hope that she will become a successful mom.

The female panther and her brother had been raised at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee since they were 5 months old. The FWC rescued the two as kittens after their mother was found dead.

“This panther is healthy and has grown to a size that should prepare her for life in the wild, ” said Darrel Land, FWC panther team leader. “The goal of any panther rescue is to be able to release the animal back into the wild to aid in the recovery of this endangered species.”

The male panther will also be released soon but in a different area which will be carefully chosen to avoid conflict with other territorial males.

“One of the causes of death is interspecies aggression and putting the young male panther in a territory with other males would put him at a disadvantage,” FWC spokesman Kevin Baxter explains.

Five other kittens of similar ages have been raised at White Oak and released in south Florida.

Brought to you by the Harmony Fund international animal rescue charity.

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FWC Photos by Tim Donovan

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201 comments

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4:26AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

great news, thanks for sharing :)

9:42AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

Классная киска) ! Хорошо бы чтоб она быстрей научилась охотиться и выживать в дикой среде.

7:07PM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Great story!

5:07AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

I wish success to the Panthers and a big THANK YOU to all involved in helping their species survive!

7:06AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

great story!

6:32PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

wow,what a beauty

3:31AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

free!

2:30PM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

All I can say is Awesome. What a gorgeous cat.

9:06AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

Those who respect, love and assist with the animals are the best people on the face of this earth. I don't trust people who don't like animals. There just seems to be something wrong with that mindset, IMHO.

That being said, I wish these beautiful creatures a successful endeavor, lots of lovely little babies and a long and healthy life.

And many thanks to everyone involved in this very important project!

3:37AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

A real beauty! May her tribe increase! Thanks for sharing.

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