COLLIER COUNTY (CBSMiami) – A nine-month old Florida Panther kitten was rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Monday after it was found injured in Collier County.
A homeowner in the Golden Estates area noticed a panther dragging its leg in the morning. When he returned later that day the panther was still there so he called the police.
FWC panther biologists, staff from the Golden Gate Animal Clinic, as well as the Collier County Sheriff’s Office police found the injured panther in some nearby bushes. It was taken to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida where vets found it had a compound fracture in her rear right leg, rib fractures and bruising around one of her lungs. They believe that the injuries may have come from the panther being hit by a car.
The panther received surgery where vets used a steel plate to mend her bones together.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped take the panther to White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, where she will stay until she fully recovers.
“We are pleased with what appears to be a successful surgery with no complications,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader. “Thanks to the help of our partners, this panther has a very good chance of returning to the wild. With only 100 to 160 adults and subadults remaining in south Florida, every panther plays an important role in the population.”
To report dead or injured panthers, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.
For more information on Florida panthers visit the Florida Panther Net website.