Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NEWSLINK: Panther killer wanted by state, feds

CHAD GILLIS, CGILLIS@NEWS-PRESS.COM2:14 p.m. EDT May 13, 2015

Who would be bold enough to shoot a Florida panther at the edge of a national wildlife refuge that bears the animal's name?

Federal and state investigators want to know the same thing, and they, along with animal advocacy groups, are offering a $15,000 reward for anyone who can help identify the shooter — someone who may have also shot other panthers just north of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Collier County.

The panther was killed in March, and the death was initially reported as a road kill. Biologists later confirmed the death was the result of a gunshot, not blunt trauma associated with vehicle collisions. The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act.

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