- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Florida wildlife officials say a young endangered panther that had been struck by a car is ready to be released back into the wild.

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plan to release the panther Wednesday afternoon in southeastern Hendry County.

The commission says the female panther was rescued as a kitten in May. It needed surgery for injuries that included a broken leg, rib fractures and bruising around its lungs. It received additional care and rehabilitation at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee.

Officials say the panther has now fully recovered and is ready for release.

The panther is an endangered species, and it’s rare for wildlife officials to treat them in captivity. Only around 160 panthers are believed to roam southern Florida.


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