Florida panther kitten rescued in Collier, recovering from surgery

A 9-month-old Florida panther has been rescued after a Golden Gate Estates man spotted the injured kitten on his way to work.

FWC

A 9-month-old Florida panther has been rescued after a Golden Gate Estates man spotted the injured kitten on his way to work.

A young Florida panther that likely had been hit by a vehicle was rescued from Golden Gate Estates earlier this week, wildlife officials reported Wednesday.

A homeowner called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Monday after seeing the 9-month-old female panther dragging its rear leg. Wild­life officers and panther biologists, Collier County sher­iff’s deputies and workers from the Golden Gate Animal Clinic found the panther in thick brush and sedated it.

Biologists then took the panther to the Animal Spe­cialty Hospital of Florida, where veterinarians found the panther had a compound fracture in her right rear leg, rib fractures and bruising around the lung.

They performed surgery, and it is recuperating at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee until it is ready to be released back into the wild.

Southwest Florida’s population of Florida panthers, an endangered species, is growing but is running out of room to roam. Scientists say as many as 160 panthers live in the wild, up from as few as 30.

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