- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Officials say a Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the 3-year-old female cat’s body was found Tuesday on Interstate 75 in Lee County. The remains will be taken to a Gainesville facility for a necropsy.

A total of 18 Florida panthers have been found dead in 2016, with 16 road fatalities.

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

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