NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — A Florida panther found near the beach in Naples has been relocated to a more suitable habitat.
Biologists and law enforcement officers captured and relocated the endangered panther near the beach at Clam Pass Park in Collier County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
It had been spotted in the mangroves by beachgoers who were walking over a boardwalk that leads to the beach.
Authorities darted the animal with a tranquilizer, checked its health and determined it was in good condition. The male panther was about two years old and weight over 100 pounds.
“This panther was far from an area where we would typically see these animals, so we decided to relocated it to a more suitable habitat for its own health and safety, “ said Darrell Land, the wildlife agency's FWC panther team leader. “We are thankful to the people who noticed this unusual situation and quickly reported it to us so that we could respond.”
Biologists will be able to monitor the panther this time by using a radio collar.
The panther was released in the Bird Rookery Swamp area of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed.
To report dead or injured panthers, call the agency's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.