BIG CYPRESS, Fla. (AP) — Three endangered Florida panthers were killed by separate vehicle strikes earlier this week.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that now makes 18 panther deaths attributed to fatal collisions, out of 24 total deaths, this year.
Wildlife officials say the remains of a 4-month-old male panther were found Tuesday within Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County, and a 3-year-old male was found dead the same day on the western edge of the park. Also Tuesday, the remains of a 10-year-old female were found just north of Southwest Florida International Airport in Lee County.
Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.