First Florida panther death of 2020 reported

FWC photo / Tim Donovan

Wildlife officials have reported the first Florida panther death of 2020.

The 2-year-old female was found dead Thursday from an apparent vehicle strike just south of the Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area in Hendry County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.