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Contact: David Fireman, 239-695-1108
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
The National Park Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of a Florida Panther that was recently found dead. The federally protected panther was found with a suspected gunshot wound on December 7, 2013, in the Turner River Unit of Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County, Florida.
Anyone with information that directly leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment, or forfeiture of property on the subject or subjects responsible for the suspected unlawful take of this Florida Panther may be eligible for a reward.
"The Florida panther is one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. This is a serious incident and we are asking the public to assist us with discovering details related to this incident." stated Pedro Ramos, Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve.
The Florida Panther is protected under The Endangered Species Act. The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of a Florida Panther are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine per individual. Anyone with information on the death of this panther or any others, past or future, is urged to contact Special Agent David Mayeski through NPS Dispatch at 1-800-788-0511.