TAMPA, Florida (WINK) - The Lowry Park Zoo says an injured Florida panther kitten that was rescued in April in Southwest Florida has died.
It happened just prior to an MRI scan to look at the brain for abnormalities. The 15-week-old male kitten was under anesthesia.
Resuscitation efforts were attempted, but unsuccessful. Although necropsy and histopathology results will not be confirmed for some time, the animal's symptoms -- particularly blindness -- were consistent with brain disease (centrally located neurological impairment or head trauma).
Photo Gallery: Injured Florida panther kitten pictures
Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first found the kitten unresponsive on April 23 along State Road 82 in Collier County.
A volunteer with the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge on his way to work spotted the injured kitten that morning and reported the sighting.
After receiving urgent care at the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida, the kitten was transferred to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for rehabilitation efforts.
Contributing: The Fort Myers News-Press