One more Cat has joined the notorious Dead Panther Society. Panthers are on the prowl and that means careless speeders running over the endangered mammal.
The same day the Fort Myers News-Press ran their annual rundown (so to speak) of the natural history of Puma concolor there was a road fatality in North Naples. Panther biologists estimate anywhere from 80-120 of the cats survive in the wild, so every death is tough to bear, but the accident on Sunday night didn't need to end with a dead cat. The couple that first noticed the injured cat called Collier County Sheriffs but 10 minutes later, the injured panther staggered into the road where it was hit again by a motorist who apparently was oblivious to the commotion on the side of the road as well as the speed limit posted there.
15 cats were hit and killed in 2007. Up from 11 in 2006. With never ending development continuing to push further into the swamps that the panthers call home, there is no doubt that fatalities will increase and suitable habitat may be gone within a few decades.
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The map I created below shows locations of fatalities from around the Everglades since 1972. Click on a bulb to get more information about each panther.
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