Wildlife authorities are now offering a $5,000 reward for info on whoever killed a Florida panther


  • Photo via FWC/Flickr
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened an investigation into the death of a Florida panther it said was intentionally killed and mutilated.

According to the FWC, the 1-year-old female panther was found on March 7 in Collier County along County Road 846.

Florida panthers are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and the intentional killing of one is punishable by up to one year in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Over the years, depleted habitats due to construction of new condos and ranches, as well as new toll roads and highways, have drastically contributed to the panther’s declining numbers. The FWC estimates that there are approximately 120-230 adult panthers left in Florida.
There have been 14 total Florida panther deaths so far this year, the FWC reports, nine of which occurred in Collier County. Besides the case currently under investigation, each death has been attributed to vehicles. Last year, the state saw 27 deaths, 11 of which occurred in Collier.

State and federal wildlife authorities are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of a responsible party.

Information can be reported to the FWC’s 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or the USFWS tip line at 844-397-8477. Those wishing to remain anonymous can report information at the FWC’s 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline, tip@myfwc.com or myfwc.com/wildlifealert.

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