Florida panthers, the state animal of Florida and one of the most endangered mammals living in the United States, even by the largest estimates don't have a population of much more than 100 individuals. This weekend three breading-age big cats were found dead in three separate car accidents, marking a tremendous blow to the population.
Reports the National Parks Traveler:
The three were killed in vehicle accidents: an 6- to 8-month old male's body was found Sunday along U.S. 41, aka the Tamiami Trail; a 5-year-old female's body was found Saturday, also along the highway, and; a 4-year-old male died Friday along U.S. 41 within the boundaries of Big Cypress National Preserve.
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The population has seen growth in the past few years, and is up from only around two dozen in the 1980s. However, increased traffic in their habitat (partially caused by the new Catholic community Ava Maria in Collier County) and their slightly increased numbers means that fatal car accidents may be more prominent.