MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A young endangered Florida panther that had been struck by a car is ready to be released back into the wild.

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plan to release the panther Wednesday afternoon in southeastern Hendry County.

The commission says the female 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. It received additional care and rehabilitation at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee.

Officials say the panther has now fully recovered and is ready for release in the southeast corner of Hendry County.

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.

For more information on Florida panthers, go to

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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