Female Florida panther, raised in captivity, gives birth in the wild28/06/2013 15:24:28 Released female panther gives birth
June 2013. Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have discovered that a female Florida panther that was rescued as an orphaned kitten and raised in captivity has given birth just a few months after her release back into the wild. Biologists found an approximately 1-month-old female kitten in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in southwest Florida, near where they released the young adult panther on Jan. 31.
"We were very excited to find this panther's kitten," said Dave Onorato, FWC panther biologist. "The fact that this panther has given birth is positive news for the recovery of this endangered species and a testament to the hard work of all involved in its rescue and rehabilitation."
"Kitten survival rates are pretty low, but this kitten looked healthy and feisty," said Onorato. "The kitten has a chance of one day contributing to the population as well."
Raised in captivity after mother died
Florida residents can support panther conservation efforts through the purchase of a "Protect the Panther license plate." Fees from license plate sales are the primary funding source for the FWC's research and management of Florida panthers.
"The success story of this once orphaned panther giving birth in the wild following its rescue and rehabilitation would not be possible without license plate funds," said Carol Knox, FWC's Imperilled Species Section Leader.