Baby Florida Panther Near Death Rescued by Researchers
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that biologists working at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge found and rescued a panther kitten that was near death.
The baby panther was in pretty bad shape when it was found, but the FWC says that there is a very good chance that the lil guy is gonna be just fine and O MY GAWWD THE ADORABLENESS IS TOO MUCH FOR US TO HANDLE!
See also: Adorable Baby Florida Panther Is Born
The panther kitten was found in January, the FWC says, weighed just one pound, was dehydrated and had a very low body temperature. The kitten was also lethargic and barely responsive, according to spokeswoman Carli Segelson.
Rescuers took the panther to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa to be properly cared for.
Now the FWC is saying that the panther weighs a much healthier four pounds, and is eating like there's no tomorrow, which is always a good sign.
He's apparently being bottle fed with Esbilac powdered milk replacer, which, again, FRIGGIN ADORABLE.
Since this little one was found so young, it hasn't had time to properly learn how to hunt, as panthers normally do with their mothers. So, it's very likely that it won't be released back into the wild.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the panther kitten will live in the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, which is just north of Tampa.
The FWC also says that they don't know the kitten's mother's whereabouts, and that the ideal situation would've been to let it live with mamma panther. But, given the dire circumstances in which it was found, and the fact that the mother was nowhere near the area, officials had little choice but to take the kitten and have it cared for at the zoo.
According to FWC vet Dr. Mark Cunningham, the kitten would have certainly not made it had it not been for the biologists finding it, and rescuing it.