Florida Panther Found Dead of Gunshot Wound, Wildlife Officials Say

Categories: Animal Planet

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for florida panther 1214.jpg
Some idiot shot and killed a Florida panther, apparently.

This according to authorities at the Cypress National Preserve in Collier County, where the dead panther was found.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says they found the animal dead from a gunshot wound on Saturday in the Turner River Unit of Big Cypress. Florida panthers are among the most endangered species in the United States.

See also: Adorable Baby Florida Panther Is Born

Wildlife officials say that only 100 to 150 Florida panthers remain and are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

While officials have been doing everything they can to preserve the animals, even bringing in Texas pumas to mate with Florida panthers, 2012 saw a record year in panther deaths.

In all, 26 panthers were found dead last year, the most since the FWC began keeping track of the numbers. The previous high -- 25 -- was hit twice, in 2007 and 2009.

Loss of habitat, being roadkill, and other factors have mostly led to the dwindling of the cats over the years. But thanks to the special Florida panther license plates -- which helped bring awareness to the situation -- and officials coming up with the idea of bringing some lady Texas pumas over to hit it off with our male panthers, things are looking good for an animal that might have otherwise been history.

And then some idiot comes along with a gun and straight up murders one of them.

"This is a serious incident, and we are asking the public to assist us with discovering details related to this incident," Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Pedro Ramos said.

The maximum sentence for the unlawful taking of a Florida panther is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The National Park Service is asking anyone with information about the panther's death to contact investigators at 800-788-0511.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Glad to see the law is stricter w/ black panthers, 1 year in jail & hundred thousand dollar fine. I think it should be 5 yrs in jail.

Why can't we put stricter laws like this for ALL animals, re: dogs, cats. It will hurt the abuser w/ jail and a huge fine?  Nothing else seems to work. Unless you hit them w/ jail time & huge fines, lost of driver license for 5 yrs. If a teen, 5 year delay getting their drivers license.

We have to hit them where it hurts. Nothing else will work.

Chris Schaaff
Chris Schaaff

It's okay because the Panthers suck this year

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault