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Wildlife Officials Release Panther Back Into Wild

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LABELLE (AP) — The third time was the charm in the release of an endangered Florida panther that was rehabilitated after a car crash.

The panther’s release took place in southeastern Hendry County.

Two scheduled releases last week had to be postponed after the young female panther eluded capture inside its 5-acre pen at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee.

The panther was rescued as a kitten in May. It needed surgery for injuries that included a broken leg, rib fractures and bruising around its lungs.

The panther is an endangered species, and it’s rare for wildlife officials to treat them in captivity. Only around 160 panthers are believed to roam southern Florida.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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