Florida panthers aren’t always easy to spot, particularly on the state’s high speed roads. As a result, the large cats are often casualties of collisions with vehicles–many of them fatal. Last year was a particularly deadly time for panthers, with 16 of the 23 known deaths due to run-ins on the road. Already this year, seven of the state’s iconic animals have met a similar fate.
But now motorists have an extra reminder to slow down and watch out for the endangered species – thanks to a generous donation by Lamar Advertising. Their new billboard (above) can be seen by drivers on US-41 in Lee County, a dangerous stretch for wandering wildlife in the Sunshine State. The company hopes that by reminding motorists to slow down and be alert–the best ways to avoid a crash course with the cats–they’ll help reduce what is now the leading cause of panther deaths in the state.
“Over 50,000 sets of eyes will see this billboard every day,” said Lamar’s southwest Florida sales manager Vinny Fazio. “We’re proud to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reach as many motorists as possible with this message of caution.”
As summer driving season continues to heat up, Defenders wants you and all of our wildlife to be safe on the road. Precaution can be as easy as slowing down or making sure your windshield is cleaned. Read our Driver Tip Sheet and see how you can Watch Out for Wildlife!