Officials say a young Florida panther has been found dead— the first of 2017— from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the 3-month-old male cat's body was found Thursday on County Road 832 in rural Hendry County. The remains will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.
A total of 42 Florida panthers were found dead last year, with 34 road fatalities.
Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S., but only around 180 remain in the wild.