29 July 2011 Slowing Down in Panther Country Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 1 comment | Share: 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.” Learn more: 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! Support safe passage for panthers. See how Defenders is working to increase the number of wildlife crossings throughout the state to ensure both wildlife and people can use our roads safely. One Response to “Slowing Down in Panther Country” Insurance Jupiter October 10th, 2011 I was recently at the Palm Beach Zoo, and they had a sign that estimated only 25 – 30 cats are living in the wild. If 7 were killed already this year, and 23 last year. There are none left. Now I realize this can’t be true, but how many are estimated to be living in the wild. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in A rare sighting at Skilak In a remote part of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, our Alaska representative catches a rare glimpse of a majestic but elusive animal. Living With Wildlife: Australian Edition Our experts are working with their counterparts around the world to see if the nonlethal methods we develop here to keep wolves and livestock safe can help with similar situations in other countries. A trip to Florida: celebrating the iconic Florida panther The footprint was the size of a large dog’s. It seemed unassuming in the Florida mud, surrounded by the cartoonish prints left behind by wild turkeys. But I knew it belonged to a rare and elusive creature, a state icon. Yes, this was the mark of a Florida panther.