2 panther deaths discovered in SW Florida

NAPLES, Fla. - Two juvenile Florida panthers have been killed, continuing a trend that led to record mortality rates in 2012.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the remains of a 7-month-old female were collected Tuesday in Hendry County, and the remains of a 10-month-old male were found Thursday in Collier County.

Experts estimate the population to be 160 juveniles and breeding adults and say the increase in road kills is due mostly to an increase in panther numbers.

A record 26 of the endangered cats died in 2012; a record-tying 17 were killed by vehicles.

Also in 2012, biologists reported some good panther news: 15 radio-collared females gave birth to 40 kittens.

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