FWC Photo by Tim Donovan
On the evening of January 31st, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released back into the wild a female Florida panther at the Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County. The female and her brother were orphaned at 5 months of age after their mother was found dead in Corkscrew Watershed. Too young to fend for themselves, the orphans were relocated to White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee Florida in September, 2011. In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and FWC, White Oak works to rehabilitate injured or orphaned Florida panthers and return them to their homes in South Florida (plans are in place to release the brother into a different area sometime in the near future). Panthers rehabilitated at White Oak have contributed to the wild population, with one female producing at least 12 kittens after her release. The Friends, together with all involved in this unique program wish her well and hope she will continue to thrive and have many kittens!
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