Year Old Florida Panther Killed By Vehicle In Collier County

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — As 2015 comes to an end, it has been a record year for Florida panther deaths.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 40 panthers died this year. The latest was Monday when a year old uncollarded male was hit by a car in Collier County. Twenty-nine of the 40 panther deaths this year have come on Florida roadways.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports that one silver lining to the increased deaths could be a rebounding panther population. Between 100 and 180 panthers are estimated to roam the region south of the Caloosahatchee River.

But officials also say the panther deaths could be a sign the cats are running out of habitat because of increased development, especially in southwest Florida.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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