Private land to be set aside for panthers


Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.

NAPLES, Fla. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the conservation of a 4,000-acre chunk of private land for Florida panther habitat.

The service's Ken Warren said Thursday the land is located in Hendry County east of Fort Myers, and will be set aside in perpetuity for wildlife habitat. He says the land will never be developed.

It is currently a working cattle farm owned by the family of George Milicevic, who purchased the property in the 1940s.

Warren says the land is located in an area that is heavily trafficked by the endangered cat.

Among the most endangered species on the planet, scientists estimate there are just about 100 Florida panthers remaining in the wild.

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