Wild Florida: Florida panther kitten reunited with mother

FWC biologists were able to reunite a lost 4-month-old panther kitten with its mother.

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Florida Fish and Wildlife biologists are celebrating, after they were able to reunite a lost 4-month-old panther kitten with its mother.

In March, FWC was notified that the kitten was separated from its mother in Collier County. Biologists used towels with the kitten’s scent along trails near the area where it was found. A few nights later, trail cameras showed a female panther near the kitten release site.

FWC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists placed the kitten in a cage where the female panther had been seen the night before and she returned. FWC officials say the female panther immediately showed maternal behavior toward the kitten.

A FWC panther biologist released the kitten from the cage, reuniting the mother and daughter. The kitten was fitted with a small, temporary, expanding radio-collar so biologists could verify that the dam continued to care for the kitten.

Telemetry data indicates that the kitten is alive and well, being cared for by her mother. Added proof came in recently, as trail camera footage captured the pair together one month after reuniting.

The kitten’s collar will soon drop off, after which time biologists hope to continue monitoring the pair with trail cameras.

For more information about Florida Fish and Wildlife Panther conservation efforts, click on this link.


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Veronica Crespo writes for Local10.com and also oversees the Español section of the website. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism and Spanish.