Second dead panther in a week found in Collier tomato field

— A Florida panther was found dead in Collier County Thursday, the victim of an apparent fight with another panther.

It is the second Florida panther death in Collier County this week, and the second documented panther death in the state in 2012.

The 3 1/2-year-old cat was found in a tomato field east of State Road 29 and south of Oil Well Road, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The body will be transported to the FWC Wildlife Research Lab in Gainesville for a necropsy. The remains will be archived at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The first panther death of 2012 was a 4- to- 5-year-old cat found dead Monday along State Road 82. Authorities believe that panther was hit by a vehicle.

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

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