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Officials: Florida panther struck and killed by vehicle

Panther. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – An endangered Florida panther has died after being struck by a vehicle.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it’s the fifth panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of seven total deaths this year.

Wildlife officials say the remains of the panther were found last Wednesday in Hardee County on a rural road near Wauchula.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico.

Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.