This little guy was rescued by FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) biologists when they found him, cold and abandoned, while conducting research on an unrelated project. His body temperature was dangerously low, and he was much too young to be separated from his mother. It's almost certain that he would have died without any intervention, so he was brought to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida, where he received life-saving care.

Florida Panthers are not actually what most people think of when they think of panthers. "Panther" is a term that has been applied to melanistic Jaguars and Leopards, and in the past these black cats were believed to be a distinct species. Florida Panthers are actually a subspecies of Cougar (Puma concolor coryi), which is under threat from poachers, vehicular accidents, loss of habitat, the spread of FIV, low genetic diversity, and exposure to chemicals released into their habitat.

This kitten has recovered well so far, but he's still being monitored 24 hours a day. It's unlikely that he will be able to be released into the wild, as he was too young to learn vital survival skills from his mother before he was separated from her. Usually, cubs will stay with their mothers, learning and growing, until they reach two years of age.

Instead, this kitten will make his home at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, after he has fully recovered and been given a chance to grow a little. At the time of his rescue, he only weighed one pound.