Collier County, Fla.- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued a 4-month-old female panther kitten in Collier County earlier this month. The kitten was likely orphaned when her mother was struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S. 41 near Collier-Seminole State Park.
A construction worker saw and photographed an emaciated panther kitten in the Collier-Seminole State Park campground, which is about a half-mile from where the female was killed.
The FWC responded to the location and set up traps to try to capture the kitten. The next day, park staff discovered the remains of an approximately 4-month-old male kitten.
FWC staff continued trapping efforts and, late in the evening on Nov. 2, successfully captured a 4-month-old female panther kitten in woods next to the campground. The FWC immediately transported the kitten to a new rehabilitation facility that opened earlier this year at the Naples Zoo.
Because the panther was orphaned at such a young age, it will not be possible to return her to the wild. While she is acclimating to her new surroundings, the kitten will not be on display to the public. She is likely to stay behind the scenes at Naples Zoo at least several weeks while a determination is made regarding a permanent home. When she is placed in a permanent home, her story will be a valuable tool in educating the public about panther conservation, what the FWC does and what the public can do to help.