Florida panther set for release back into the wild

Florida Panther
Posted at 9:33 PM, Apr 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-03 18:34:58-04

MIAMI (AP) - A Florida panther rescued as a kitten is ready to return to the wild.


      Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials plan to release the male panther Wednesday afternoon in southwest Palm Beach County.


      Wildlife officials rescued the panther and its sister in September 2011 in Collier County after their mother was found dead. The kittens were raised at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee since they were 5 months old.


      The female panther was released in February in Collier County. Officials say the cats are now 2 years old and big enough to survive on their own.


      It's rare for panthers to be raised in captivity and then released. The Florida panther is an endangered species. Only around 160 panthers are believed to remain in southern Florida.