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Rare panther dies after colliding with vehicle in SW Florida; 19 panther deaths this year

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NAPLES, Florida — Wildlife officials say a rare Florida panther has died after colliding with a vehicle.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the remains of the 2-year-old female panther were collected Wednesday from a Hendry County road.

It's the 14th panther from being hit by a vehicle this year. Overall, 19 panther deaths have been recorded this year.

The remains will be sent to a wildlife commission lab in Gainesville for a necropsy.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeastern U.S., but now only around 160 remain in the wild. Most panther deaths in recent years have been caused by collisions with vehicles.

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