Dead Florida panther found on private land west of Immokalee

A dead Florida panther was found Wednesday on private land west of Immokalee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported Thursday.

The Conservation Commission recovered the endangered wildcat from a water retention area in an orange grove near the Corkscrew Marsh Unit of CREW, the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, panther biologist Dave Onorato said.

The radio-collared female, about 3 years old, was too decomposed to determine a cause of death. Onorato estimated that it had been dead for four days.

The panther will undergo a necropsy at the Conservation Commission's Wildlife Research Lab in Gainesville to try to determine how it died.

The Conservation Commission also is waiting for necropsy results from a panther found dead on a private ranch in Hendry County last week.

So far this year, 22 panthers have been found dead, two short of 2009's record number of 24 dead panthers.

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