The weekend brought some sad news when the Florida Wildlife Commission recovered the remains of a 3-year-old female panther that had been struck by a vehicle and killed. Of the 15 panthers that have died this year, this is the 12th killed in a collision with a car or truck.
Sadly, panthers aren’t the only Floridians at risk on the road. In a Transportation for America ranking of the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians, the top four cities were all located in Florida.
Elizabeth Fleming, with Defenders’ Florida program said, “US 41 between Miami and Naples is a very deadly road for panthers and people, and it is a tragedy that another breeding age female has been killed here by a vehicle. Defenders is working to solve the chronic problem at Turner River in Big Cypress and other areas where this highway cuts through core panther habitat on our public conservation lands.”
From east to west the highway runs through Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, Collier Seminole State Park and Picayune Strand State Forest.
“People driving on that road need to realize they are in a special place and they need to slow down and remain alert,” says Fleming.
May was a particularly deadly month for the large cats, when three panthers were killed in just one weekend.
Stay safe on the road! See Defenders’ top 10 tips to help you avoid and prevent collisions with wildlife.