Necropsy performed on animal, likely a panther

Published On: Dec 11 2012 02:28:50 PM EST
CHRISTMAS, Fla. -

A necropsy is being performed on an animal struck and killed by a car in Orange County. Authorities say it's likely a Florida panther.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist retrieved the carcass Sunday night near Christmas. The necropsy is being performed at the FWC's Research Lab in Gainesville to confirm that it is indeed a Florida panther.

Authorities say the animal's bod "was badly damaged" and the biologist was not immediately able to determine the gender.

Wildlife officials that if this is confirmed to be a Florida panther, it will be the 25th to die this year in Florida and the 17th killed by a car. In 2011, nine of 24 documented Florida panther deaths were attributed to vehicle collisions.

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