First Panther Death Of 2014 Reported

NAPLES (CBSMiami/AP) – Just two days into the New Year, wildlife officials are reporting the first death of an endangered Florida panther.

The panther, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says the panther was killed in a three-car crash in Naples.

The panther, killed Thursday along Interstate 75 in Collier County, was a young male up to 120 pounds, said Darrell Land of FWC.

Minor injuries, according to Florida Highway Patrol, were reported in the crash that killed the cat.

Wildlife officials say collisions with vehicles pose a significant threat to the rare cats. Roughly 100 to 160 adult panthers remain in the wild.

Thursday’s accident is the first recorded panther death of 2014. Land says 20 panther deaths were recorded last year. Most of the panther deaths recorded in recent years are caused by collisions with vehicles.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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