An endangered Florida panther was discovered dead this week in Big Cypress National Preserve, according to a report by a preserve biologist.
The 12-year-old female panther was detected in the preserve between Turner River Road and Burns Lake north of U.S. 41 during a routine monitoring flight Monday, the report says.
The report does not list a cause of death, but says rangers “did not detect signs of human involvement” and found signs of a struggle, possibly a fight with another panther.
The panther likely had been dead for two days, limiting field assessments. The panther was taken to Gainesville for a necropsy, the report said.
Rangers placed trail cameras at the site and baited the area in an attempt to determine whether two of the panther’s kittens, about 5 months old, are still in the area.