Rare Florida panther released back into the wild

AP News
Posted: Apr 03, 2013 6:27 PM

IN THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES (AP) — A Florida panther rescued as a kitten has made a rare run back into the Everglades.

The 2-year-old male panther poked its head out of a crate and then sprinted several hundred yards down a gravel road before disappearing into the brush Wednesday in Palm Beach County.

Wildlife officials rescued the panther and its sister in September 2011 after their mother was found dead. The kittens were raised at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee since they were 5 months old.

Officials say the cats are now big enough to survive on their own. The female panther was released in February.

It's rare for panthers to be raised in captivity and then released. The panther is an endangered species. Only around 160 are believed to remain in southern Florida.