IMMOKALEE, Fla. (AP) — Wildlife officials have reported the first Florida panther death of 2023.

The 2-year-old female was found dead Monday from an apparent vehicle strike on a rural road east of Immokalee in Collier County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

A total of 27 Florida panthers were reported killed in 2022, with 25 of those being from vehicle strikes.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

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