Rescued panther kitten arrives at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo - WFLA News Channel 8

Rescued panther kitten arrives at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A rescued Florida panther kitten has arrived at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo for neonatal care.

The kitten was rescued at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Collier County in mid-January. Biologists from the Florida Fish (FWC) and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered the panther while doing research.

He weighed one pound and was nonresponsive with dangerously low body temperature.

He was transferred to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida in Naples where he received life-saving care. Once he was strong enough to travel, he was then taken to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.

The kitten is 4-weeks old and is now healthy with an excellent appetite thanks to the care he's received up until now. The baby only weighed 2.8 pounds when he arrived at the zoo and now weighs 4.1 pounds.  Despite his improving condition, the kitten still receives 24-hour care from the zoo's veterinary team.

In the upcoming weeks, the kitten will transition from being bottle fed to a meat-based diet. When he is 8-weeks old he will receive vaccinations before being transferred to live at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

Because this kitten was so young at the time of rescue, the FWC says he will not learn survival skills from his mother and therefore cannot be released into the wild.

This male is the fourth kitten and eighth panther to receive rehabilitation at the zoo.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission  to provide veterinary support for the wild Florida panther population.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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