- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

LABELLE, Fla. (AP) - Officials say a young Florida panther has been found dead - the first of 2017 - from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the 3-month-old male cat’s body was found Thursday on County Road 832 in rural Hendry County. The remains will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.

A total of 42 Florida panthers were found dead last year, with 34 road fatalities.

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

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