From The Naples Daily News comes this note:
One of the last remaining offspring of a genetic restoration project credited with saving the Florida panther from extinction was found dead this week.
The National Park Service tracked down the skeletal remains of a female panther Wednesday in a remote location in the Turner River unit of the Big Cypress National Preserve in eastern Collier County.
She was 17, a remarkable age for a panther in the wild, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission panther biologist Dave Onorato said.
This "Florida Panther" was born a wild Mountain Lion in Texas, and only became a "Florida Panther" thanks to a tranquilizer dart and a transport van.
Beyond saving the deeply inbred, and failing, gene pool of the big cats in Florida, this lion and her transport mates shattered a long-standing lie embraced by well-meaning land-preservation environmentalists who one claimed that Florida "Panther" was different from the Cougar or Mountain Lion of the American West.
It never was. Not then, not now, and not in the future. It's always been on species, and with no subspecies that is recognized by the animals themselves. Wild animals do not embrace human fiction, and it's the animals themselves that are the experts, not the
In another bit of news, it turns out that the Mountain Lion shot in Bourbon County, Kentucky last year (and reported on this blog) was, in fact, treed by Aurora Rubel's Rhodesian Ridgeback, which is semi-employed to keep coyotes away from her very small working Jack Russells. That's Aurora in the two pictures below. At top with 10-inch Wild Remains Sumo and a 17-pound ground hog, and below that with another dog and a very larger possum.
The good news is that there are more Mountain Lions coming east. In September, a live Mountain Lion was photographed on a game camera along the Kentucky-Tennessee border.This lion is likely a young male on walkabout. The earlier Kentucky lion was 4-5 year old adult male.
It's only a matter of time before a female comes east (or comes north from Florida) and things expand out from there.