Florida panthers escape pen with help of superstorm Sandy
Yulee, FL, United States (4E) – Two young panthers that escaped because their cage has been damaged by Hurricane Sandy are now being hunted by conservation authorities in Florida.
According to officials, the male and female panthers were able to flee when an enclosure fence at the White Oak Conservation Center broke after Sandy’s fierce wind knocked down a tree Sunday.
Both panthers, reported to be equipped with radio collars, are being tracked by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
FWC spokeswoman Karen Parker said the panthers have not wandered too far from their pen, and remain on White Oak property in Yulee.
Parker added that they are closely monitoring the panthers and working to bring them safely back to their enclosure.
The two-year-old panthers have been staying at the center since they were five months old after the death of their mother.
Kipp Frohlich, head of the Imperiled Species Management Section at the FWC, stated they were scheduled to be released back into the wild later this winter.
The panthers’ pen is located in an isolated area to limit contact with people. Five other panthers raised at White Oak have been set free into the wild in south Florida.
Scientists reported there are between 100 and 160 adult and subadult panthers in south Florida.