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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Another Florida panther has been hit and killed by a car.

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According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the remains of a 3-year-old uncollared male panther were found Monday in Osceola County, on Florida’s Turnpike just south of Yeehaw Junction.

The remains were taken to a Gainesville lab for necropsy.

This is the 23rd Florida panther death of 2014 and the 18th death caused by a vehicle collision.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, there were only a few dozen Florida panthers left in the wild but today there are around 160.

They are shy and elusive animals. Younger cats are forced to travel long distances because their habitat is saturated with dominant males.

In the process of fleeing to establish their own territory, some are killed in collisions with cars or trucks.

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Florida residents can support panther conservation efforts by purchasing a Protect the Panther license plate, available at BuyAPlate.com. Fees from license plate sales are the primary funding source for the FWC’s research and management of Florida panthers.

To report dead or injured panthers, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.

For more information on Florida panthers go to FloridaPantherNet.org.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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