Panther fight kills female panther, officials say

— Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists reported this afternoon they found a dead Florida panther on the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

During their morning tracking flight, they received a mortality signal from a tracking device on the 7-year-old female panther. When they found the panther on the ground, they determined the cause of death to be an attack by another panther.

The remains were transported to the Conservation Commission field office in Naples, where they will be stored until they can be transported to Gainesville for a necropsy at a later date. After necropsy, the skeleton will be archived at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The panther is the second to be killed by another panther so far this year and the ninth panther death of the year. Six others have been killed by vehicle collisions and one panther was found shot to death in Hendry County in April.

The Conservation Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are still searching for the killer. A $15,000 reward for information about the case has been offered.

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