MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — As 2015 comes to an end, it has been a record year for Florida panther deaths.READ MORE: With Topic To Be Discussed At Special Meeting, Broward School Board Chair Says She’ll Vote Again In Favor Of Mandatory Masks
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 37 panthers died this year. The latest was earlier this week when a year old female was hit by a car in Hendry County. Twenty-six of the 37 panther deaths this year have come on Florida roadways.READ MORE: ‘This Is About Freedom’: Republican Leaders Gather At Versailles For Another Cuba Rally
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.MORE NEWS: ‘2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back’: South Florida Businesses Feeling Effects Of COVID Resurgence
(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)