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Data Show Fewer Florida Panthers Killed In 2020 Compared To Previous Years

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Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

More than 20 Panthers have been killed this year, according to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionIt’s a lower toll than previous years.

The 22nd panther to be killed this year was discovered on December 28th in Collier County. Like most of the others killed in 2020, the 3-year-old male was hit by a car. 

Of the panthers that weren’t killed on the roads, one was hit by a train in Polk County, one was killed by another panther, and a third panther’s death is listed as ‘under investigation’. 

The death toll is lower: 27 panther deaths were recorded last year, while 30 panthers were killed in 2018. 

More panthers were born this year: 11 kittens compared to nine panther kittens in 2019. 

The FWC is also monitoring a disorder first documented in 2018 called Feline Leukomyelopathy, or FLM. The disorder affects panthers and bobcats and causes rear-leg weakness.  Animals with the condition have difficulty walking. 

The FWC estimates Florida’s adult panther population at around 120 to 130 animals. 

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »