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A dead florida panther laid out in the bed of a pickup truck.
Information icon This Florida panther was killed in Troup County, GA on Nov. 16, 2008. Photo by Georgia DNR.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, partners offer reward for information about suspicious panther death

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are looking for help from the public with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of a Florida panther that was recently found dead in the Turner River Unit of Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County.

For information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing the panther, the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Association and USFWS are offering a combined reward of up to $12,000.

The government agencies are also working with other conservation organizations including the Big Cypress Sportsmen’s Alliance, Collier Sportsmen’s Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Everglades Association, Everglades Conservation and Sportsmen’s Club, Everglades Coordinating Council, Florida National Parks Association, Florida Wildlife Federation, Humane Society of the United States, National Parks and Conservation Association and South Florida National Parks Trust.

Anyone who provides information can remain anonymous by calling the FWC at 888-404-3922, texting Tip@MyFWC.com or going online to MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert.

“We appreciate the support from a broad diversity of conservation organizations,” stated Preserve Superintendent Pedro Ramos. “We all recognize how serious this situation is and know that working together increases the likelihood of a successful outcome to the investigation.”

The dead panther was found with a suspected gunshot wound last weekend.

“The cat was an 18-month-old female that was the offspring of ‘Florida Panther (FP) 162,’ a female panther that is collared and continues to be monitored within the Preserve,” said Bob DeGross of the NPS.

It was handled by NPS staff in the den, along with a sibling male, in June of 2012, when a micro-chip was implanted and it was identified as “K 368.”

The dead panther will eventually be transported to the USFWS forensics laboratory in Ashland, Ore., for further analysis.

Anyone who wants to support the Wildlife Alert Reward Program should visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert or contact the FWC’s Investigations Section at 850-488-6253 to learn more.

Contact

Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
Website: https://www.fws.gov/external-affairs/public-affairs/

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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