Endangered Florida Panther Dies Less Than A Year After Release

LA BELLE (CBSMiami/AP) — Rescued as a kitten, an endangered Florida panther has died less than a year after being released back into the wild.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson says the young male panther’s radio collar alerted officials Friday that the animal was not moving and could be dead.

Segelson says the lethargic panther was found on private land in Hendry County and taken to a veterinary clinic. It died Saturday.

The cause of death wasn’t immediately clear. A necropsy is planned.

The panther and its sister were rescued by wildlife officials in September 2011 in Collier County after their mother was found dead. They were raised in captivity before being released separately last year.

Only around 160 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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