January 24th, 2010 12:15 EST
Help Save the Florida Panther: Record Year for Florida Panther Deaths
UCFP132, a beautiful Florida Panther, was recently killed by a vehicle and then beheaded along a highway -- a gruesome mutilation of one of North America`s most endangered animals.
Deaths of these great cats are far too common. Please help us catch illegal panther killers and save the lives of these highly endangered animals. Please donate today.
This terrible loss underscores the tragedy of the record number of endangered Florida panthers killed last year alone.
Just Monday night, the first panther death of 2010 was confirmed about one mile south of Corkscrew Road in Lee County, Florida -- a two and a half year old male.
These big cats are some of the most endangered animals in the world. Their fight against extinction is only becoming more difficult as they are robbed of places to live and speeding cars turn them into roadkill.
Because of the caring support of people like you, I`m here in Florida leading the efforts of Defenders to save these amazing animals. Working with partners throughout the state, we have a comprehensive plan to save panthers from extinction.
Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help Defenders catch panther killers, set aside vital habitat for panthers and make Florida`s roadways safer for these big cats.
The need for funding to save our Florida panthers is urgent.
A four month-old female kitten was recently found dead alongside a road in Naples, FL. Sadly, there are only about 100 Florida panthers left in the world.
Last year, 24 panthers were killed. A record seventeen were lost to vehicle collisions. One was illegally shot, three died in territory conflicts and two deaths -- including the brutal beheading of panther UCFP132 -- remain under investigation.
Your compassionate donation will help us:
| ||Post rewards to catch the person who recently decapitated a panther that had been killed by a vehicle, help put illegal panther killers behind bars and investigate suspicious deaths of these endangered cats.|
| ||Install high-tech wildlife sensors on Heartbreak Highway " a road very deadly to panthers. These sensors can reduce wildlife vehicle collisions; |
| ||Save panther habitat on the Caloosahatchee River, so that these rare cats can migrate northward and reclaim some of their historic range;|
| || Fight ill-conceived new road projects in Southern Florida that could increase road deaths and further fragment the habitat these great cats need to survive; and|
| ||Develop solutions with responsible landowners to realize a future where panthers once more roam along more of their historic range in the American Southeast.|
We can`t catch the panther killer or implement these other life-saving programs without the caring support of people like you. Please make your tax-deductible donation right now.
2010 is already turning into a deadly year for Florida panthers. But with your kind support we can help save the lives of the remaining endangered cats.
| ||Elizabeth Fleming|
Defenders of Wildlife