- Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Wildlife officials say the population of endangered Florida panthers is recovering, but that has increased the chances of interactions between humans and the big cats.

Panthers typically prey on wildlife such as deer, wild hogs or small mammals. However, they also sometimes prey on livestock and pets.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there have been a record 32 panther attacks on pets and livestock in 2014. All occurred in Collier County. Officials say those events led to the deaths of more than 50 animals.

The conservation commission’s panther team leader says small livestock animals can be protected in secure, covered enclosures, and pets should be kept inside at night or locked in panther-proof pens. Additional support is available for livestock and pet owners who need assistance.

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