MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The remains of what appears to be a four-year-old Florida panther is being sent off to Gainesville where a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death—but it appears the endangered panther was hit by a car or truck.

Just a few weeks ago, the panther was sedated and fitted with a radio collar for monitoring. After, the panther was released back into the Big Cypress National Preserve to live out in the Everglades.

On Monday, the panther was found dead off a dirt road in Broward’s Francis Taylor Water Management area.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said the panther’s injuries were consistent with being struck by a car. They believe the injured animal crawled into the bush and died.

The recent panther death is the first in Broward County this year—the seventh in 2014. It is believed, if the necropsy confirms FWC’s suspicions, that Monday’s finding will be the fourth panther killed by a motor vehicle this year.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S., but only around 160 remain in the wild.


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