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Panther Deaths In Florida Hit Record High

A 2-year-old Florida panther is released into the wild by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on April 3, 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The panther and its sister had been raised at the White Oak Conservation Center since they were 5 months old. The FWC rescued the two panthers as kittens in September 2011 in northern Collier County after their mother was found dead. The panther is healthy and has grown to a size that should prepare him for life in the wild. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A 2-year-old Florida panther is released into the wild by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on April 3, 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The panther and its sister had been raised at the White Oak Conservation Center since they were 5 months old. The FWC rescued the two panthers as kittens in September 2011 in northern Collier County after their mother was found dead. The panther is healthy and has grown to a size that should prepare him for life in the wild. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Deaths of panthers in Florida hit a record high this year.

“So far this year we’ve had 37 known panther deaths in Florida that we’ve been able to recover,” Kipp Frohlich of the the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told Here & Now. “Twenty-six of those have been caused by cars or accidents on the road, so that is a new high mortality.

Frohlich says it’s a sign that the panther population is growing.

“We do have more deaths and that’s always a sad thing whenever you recover a panther, but it really is reflective that we actually have more panthers in Florida and the population has been growing steadily,” he said.

Speed limits have been lowered in certain areas, along with signs warning drivers of panthers in the area, but Frohlich says the best way to keep animals off the roadways is with fencing. A nine-mile stretch of fencing is scheduled to be installed along Interstate 175.

Guest

  • Kipp Frohlich, deputy director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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