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Panther death count rising in southwest Florida, 9 killed in 2016

Florida Panther - resized
Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 10:52:26-05

NAPLES, Fla. - Officials say a Florida panther was found dead near a southwest Florida subdivision, raising the state's total count to 9.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the 2-year-old cat's body was found Thursday at the Lely Resort community in Collier County. The cause of death wasn't immediately known. The remains will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.

A total of nine Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with seven road fatalities, including the death reported last week.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S., but only around 180 remain in the wild.