Dead panther found north of Immokalee

A citrus grove manager north of Immokalee reported finding a dead Florida panther late Wednesday afternoon, Florida wildlife officials reported today.

The male panther, between 7 and 9 years old, was killed in a fight with another panther, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission panther team leader Darrell Land said.

The carcass was put in a freezer at the Conservation Commission office in Naples and will be sent to Gainesville for a necropsy at a later date.

So far this year, 18 panthers have been found dead, including four panther kittens killed in a wildfire at Big Cypress National Preserve this summer.

Six panthers have been killed in collisions with vehicles, four in fights with other panthers and one 2011 death's cause is listed as unknown.

Another three panther deaths are under investigation.

Scientists estimate as many as 160 panthers, an endangered species, remain in the wild.

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