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


RONALD Walker2 years ago

I am happy about the release and more cats the better. I still worry about inbreeding. I only want the very best for the Florida panther.

Carrie-Anne Brown

great news, thanks for sharing :)

Konstantin Trubin

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

Alberta Gentleman

Great story!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

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

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

great story!

Sandra Patterson
Sandra ;atterson5 years ago

wow,what a beauty

Amy R.
Past Member 5 years ago


Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

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

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright5 years ago

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!