For the second time in four days, state wildlife biologists have found an endangered Florida panther dead in Southwest Florida.
This afternoon, biologists recovered the carcass of a 5-year-old male panther on Lee County Port Authority mitigation land north of Corkscrew Road in Lee County.
The panther showed no outward signs of being hit by a vehicle, attacked by another panther or foul play; the cause of death is unknown, said Florida panther project scientist Dave Onorato.
The carcass is being taken to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wildlife research lab in Gainesville for a necropsy to determine a cause of death.
The latest panther death brings the number of panther deaths so far this year to 22, two short of last year’s 24 deaths.
Of those, 16 panthers were killed in collisions with vehicles, one panther short of the record set in 2009.
On Sunday, wildlife biologists recovered a dead 9-month-old male panther along County Road 846 in Hendry County east of Immokalee. It had been hit by a vehicle.