Officials: 3 Florida panthers struck and killed by vehicles

May 16, 2022 GMT

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Three endangered Florida panthers have died after being struck by vehicles over the past week.

They’re the 12th, 13th and 14th panther deaths attributed to fatal collisions, out of 14 total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The remains of a 2-year-old male panther were found Monday on a rural road near Alva in Lee County, wildlife officials said. The remains of a 10-month-old female panther were found Saturday on a divided highway near the Southwest Florida International Airport in Lee County. The remains of a 2-year-old female panther were found last Tuesday near Fish Eating Creek Wildlife Management Area in Glades County.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.