Officials: Florida panther struck and killed by vehicle

Walking through palmetto trees in Charlotte County, Florida. (fotoguy22, fotoguy22)

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

It’s the 19th panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of 21 total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The remains of the 2-year-old male panther were found Tuesday along a rural road in Lehigh Acres in Lee County, wildlife officials said.

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.