Endangered Florida Panther Marked for Death

Wildlife Officials Mark Rare Florida Panther for Death


ABC News- Walt Disney

Logan Dunn, Staff Writer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that was formed to protect wildlife, has taken an unprecedented step and marked the death of a rare Florida panther known as FP 260. FP 260 is still alive but has been targeted for capture and euthanasia, Craig Pittman reported to the Florida Phoenix. Since 1967, the Department of the Interior listed the Florida panther as an endangered subspecies. Since then, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked closely with the state of Florida, as well as other federal agencies and private partners to make significant progress towards achieving recovery. The endangered panther has been in decline in the last half-century or so, from hunting before it was illegal.

FP 260 first caught biologists’ attention after it was struck by a car in 2020 and crawled off the road and onto the Immokalee ranch of Liesa Priddy. FP 260 was treated by veterinarians, fitted with a tracking collar, then turned loose a few weeks later in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Due to Immokalee rancher’s persistent complaints about FP 260 was killing her calves, the federal agency decided the endangered panther should die, despite protests from biologists. After attacking the rancher’s calves

In late December, federal panther coordinator David Shindle wrote that his agency had determined FP 260 should be “permanently” removed from the wild after Priddy said she feared the panther would attack a human. Shindle wrote that the law “provides for removing animals that constitute a demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety.” Calving season has ended at Priddy’s ranch and the panther has gone back to the wild. Since calving season is over the calves are no longer at risk so a USFWS spokesperson told Pittman they’re not actively looking for the panther. The panther is no longer a threat as of now to Pittman’s calves.