The body of a 3- to 4-year-old male Florida panther was found Monday in Lee County, the ninth of the endangered animals to have died this year.
The panther appeared to have died after being hit by a car about a week ago, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Its carcass was found on Alico Road, about 300 feet west of Airport Haul Road.
Officials took the panther’s body to the NWC Naples Field Office and soon will take it to the commission’s research lab in Gainesville for a necropsy. The remains will be archived at the Florida Museum of Natural History, also in Gainesville.
State biologists estimate there are anywhere from 100 to 160 remaining endangered Florida panthers.