Give Panthers a Brake

© Lynn M. Stone/Nature Picture Library (captive)

Though already critically endangered, Florida panthers are constantly in danger thanks to collisions with vehicles, shrinking habitat, and people’s intolerance for living with a large predator. To help protect these vulnerable big cats, Defenders took on a major outreach campaign leading up to Save the Florida Panther Day on March 16th. Our initiative included presenting at local festivals, handing out educational materials at a local zoo, a jumbotron ad at a hockey arena and much, much more.
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Big Cypress teems with wildlife and is a refuge for the critically endangered Florida panther. But the roads here make it a dangerous place for the big cats, with vehicle collisions one of the leading causes of death.
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Last year saw a record-high 17 deaths of the endangered big cats on Florida roadways—with one of these still under investigation. In 2008, 10 panthers were killed by vehicles.