MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sometimes news stories don’t end well; and then there are stories like this one that has the “purrfect” ending that will leave you “roaring” with joy.

Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were working at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Collier County earlier this year when they came across a week-old, one-pound male panther kitten.

The kitten was found to have a dangerously low body temperature and was nonresponsive. FWC veterinarian Dr. Mark Cunningham said the “kitten was in poor condition and almost certainly would have died without intervention.”

Click Here to see a slideshow of the rescued kitten.

Biologists took the kitten to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida in Naples and they performed life-saving measures and gave the tiny cat round-the-clock care. Once the kitten became strong enough, he was taken to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, becoming the fourth kitten and eight panther to receive rehabilitation at the zoo.

The kitten can’t be returned to the wild because he wouldn’t have the survival skills needed, but once large enough will be taken to the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where visitors will be able to observe him.

“This kitten exemplifies how joint efforts of the FWC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners are helping recover imperiled species in Florida,” said Kevin Godsea, manager of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge for the USFWS. “We are certainly pulling for him and hope he leads a long, healthy life.”


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