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Florida panther cubs found dead near Naples

Wildlife officials investigating the deaths in Collier County.
Sakata, a Florida Panther, rests inside an enclosure at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on January 17, 2019 in Homosassa, Florida.
Sakata, a Florida Panther, rests inside an enclosure at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on January 17, 2019 in Homosassa, Florida. [ MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Apr. 3
Updated Apr. 3

NAPLES— Two endangered Florida panther cubs have been found dead.

They make 12 total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The remains of a male cub and a female cub, both three months old, were found Thursday on private property in North Belle Meade in Collier County, officials said. The cause of death wasn’t known.

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.