NAPLES — Two endangered Florida panthers have died after being struck by vehicles in separate incidents.
They’re the fourth and fifth deaths attributed to fatal collisions, out of five total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The remains of a 3-year-old female panther were found Friday along an Immokalee road in Collier County, wildlife officials said. Then on Monday, a 2-year-old female panther was found dead along Interstate 75, near the western Alligator Alley toll plaza.
A total of 27 Florida panthers were found dead last year, with 21 deaths attributed to vehicles, according to state records. That was up from 22 total deaths in 2020.
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.