Panther Kitten Rescued, and Learning to Hunt on Its Own

Posted at May 26, 2011 by Comments Off

I wrote about the Florida Panther kittens that died in the Jarhead Big Cypress forest fire, so now I’m glad to report on another panther kitten that was lifted out of harm’s ways twice.

The kitten was first rescued by wildlife officials and volunteers in October after his mother was killed in a fight with another panther, and again rescued after a tree fell on his pen at a recovery facility in northeast Florida.

The panther, still less than six months old, is back at the White Oak Conservation Center learning how to hunt and capture prey on its own, according to a press release by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The kitten was first rescued after wildlife officials learned that the kitten’s mother, FP102, had emitted a mortality signage from her tracking collar, which means she had not moved at all for at least two hours. The mother’s body was found in Big Cypress National Preserve, but officials could not find her two kittens. Using a hound, they were eventually able to find the sixteen-week-old, scrawny male panther, which would not have survived long on his own at that young age. The kitten was given rehydrating fluids, since it had not eaten in several days.

In his 10-acre recovery pen, the panther kitten, identified as K304, was given live prey to learn how to hunt on his own. After a tree fell on the pen, he escaped, was caught, by a hound again, sedated, lowered from the tree by net, and brought back to the pen.

The panther will soon be released into the wild.


In other good news, three Panthers gave birth to four kittens each in April. The total estimated Panther population is at less than 160 adults.


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