Updated: Nov 04, 2010 5:31 PM EDT
By Karla Ray
NAPLES: Biologists have captured a Florida panther that wildlife officials say may have attacked several calves in southern Collier County.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials caught the male panther on public land in the Florida Panther Wildlife Refuge, a little more than a mile west of the attack sites.
Biologists tranquilized the 130-pound panther, then performed a medical examintation on it.
The panther, which is estimated to be 4-5 years old, was then outfitted with a radio and GPS collar and released inside the refuge.
“Now that the panther is tagged and can be tracked, biologists may be able to intervene to keep this panther from returning to depredation sites,” said FWC’s Darrell Land.
Liesa Priddy says that panther has been killing her livestock – at least eight calves so far, she said.
“It’s very very frustrating because you only get one calf per year from a cow so if you lose that calf, you lose a whole year’s worth of production,” she said.
FWC continues to work with local ranchers, who are allowing the agency to track panthers on their land.
“It’d be nice to have them in a habitat where there is sufficient food, like deer, so they wouldn’t have to turn to our livestock,” he said.