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panther deaths

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

More Florida panthers could die this year than last year’s record number.

Wildlife authorities attribute the mortalities to the endangered animal’s growing population.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have documented 22 dead panthers so far this year. All but four of the animals died in vehicle collisions. Last year, 41 panthers died.

Darrell Land of FWC says the state’s panther population is estimated at up to 180 animals, compared with a few dozen 30 years ago.