Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released a male Florida panther at the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area. The release site is along the borders of Palm Beach, Broward and Hendry counties.

 “We chose this location because it is part of the species’ known range, and it should provide ample undeveloped area for the panther to acclimate into the wild,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader.

The FWC rescued the panther and its sister as 5-month-old kittens in September 2011 in northern Collier County after their mother was found dead. The animals were then taken to the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, where they were subsequently raised. The panther siblings are now nearly 2 years old.

“These panthers most likely would not have survived without our intervention and the subsequent support of White Oak staff,” said Land.

The female panther was successfully released in February in Collier County. Through post-release monitoring, biologists have observed her adapting well and behaving as typical wild female panthers do.

FWC biologists have determined the male panther is healthy and has grown to a size that should prepare him for life in the wild. However, young male panthers must be on their guard to avoid adult male panthers.

“We are pleased with the progress of the female since her release,” said Land. “Young males face the additional survival challenge of potential confrontations with older males, but we believe our choice of a release site will minimize the risk of such encounters.”

More photos from her release can be viewed here

Both releases were coordinated in consultation with partners from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

An estimated 100 to 160 adult and subadult endangered panthers remain in south Florida.


Responses to "A Florida panther rescued as a kitten is released as an adult into the wild. (Video)"

  1. Thank you so much for Sharing. Many Blessings

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! Love these critters. Thank you!

  3. Unknown says:

    I almost hit a panther years ago on the interstate near Naples. It was at night and we JUST avoided each other! There couldn't have been too many around then! Sure was beautiful...

  4. Anonymous says:

    You are all great to do this work. The animals will always remember your kindness towards them and so will I. God bless you. Teresa

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