FWC documents first Florida panther death of 2012 in Collier County

— Becoming the first documented Florida panther death of 2012, a 4- to 5-year-old cat was found dead Monday after being hit by a vehicle along State Road 82 in Collier County, officials report.

The body of the uncollared male panther was found north of Immokalee on State Road 82, 2.4 miles west of State Road 29. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission law enforcement officers collected the dead panther about 6 p.m. Monday, the FWC reports.

The panther, UCFP166, was taken to FWC’s Naples Office and placed in a freezer to await transport to the commission’s Wildlife Research Lab in Gainesville for a necropsy. The remains will be archived at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

In 2011, FWC recorded 24 panther deaths, nine of which were caused by vehicle crashes.

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