LA BELLE, Fla. -

The remains of a rare Florida panther have been found in southwest Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say it's the 12th panther death this year.

Officials say the remains of the young male panther were found Monday in Hendry County.

According to the wildlife commission, the panther died after being hit by a vehicle. It's the ninth panther death caused by a vehicle collision this year.

Florida panthers are an endangered species. Officials estimate that just 100 to 160 of the big cats remain in the wild across the southern part of the state.

Vehicle collisions were blamed for most of the roughly two dozen panther deaths recorded in Florida last year.