ESTERO, Fla. — An endangered Florida panther was fatally hit by a car, the 19th big cat to die this year.
The remains of a 9-month-old male panther were found Wednesday in a rural part of Lee County west of the CREW Cypress Dome Trails, wildlife officials said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it’s the 16th panther to die from a fatal collision this year.
The endangered big cat once roamed the state. However, their habitat has been decimated by development and sprawl. The remaining 230 or so panthers are, for the most part, confined to an area of south Florida that stretches along the Gulf of Mexico, although there have been some sightings as far north as Georgia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.