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Orphaned baby panther kitten rescued by Florida wildlife officials

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A baby panther kitten weighing only one pound was rescued on Thursday in Immokalee by the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge reports nbcmiami.com.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, the kitten's mother has not been found, and when discovered the kitten was unresponsive and very cold.

The baby panther was sent to Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida and received emergency treatment. He is now being cared for at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

Panthers are one of the most endangered mammals, and there are only estimated to be between 100 and 160 adult cats still in South Florida which is their own known breeding area. Females usually produce one to three kittens, but their survival rate is very low.

An adult male panther can weigh up to 130 pounds and reach the length of seven feet from nose to tip of tail. Their average life span ranges from 10 to 15 years.

This baby panther will not be able to be released back into the wild because he will never be able to learn survival instincts that he would have learned with his mother. Offspring usually stay with their mothers for a few years before going off on their own.

When the panther is older and healthy enough, he will be transferred to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

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