This Rescued Florida Panther Kitten Is Actually Too Cute

Part of an endangered breed, biologists discovered the abandoned kitten weeks ago nonresponsive and with a dangerously low body temperature. Now the kitten is totally healthy at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. posted on

1. A baby Florida panther was found “in the wilderness, nonresponsive and with an extremely low body temperature.”

2. Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida discovered the kitten at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

The Florida panther is an endangered breed, so they decided to rescue the little kitten to further conservation efforts.

3. “We want to give any panther kitten the best opportunity to survive in the wild. But clearly this kitten…almost certainly would have died without intervention,” said FWC veterinarian Dr. Mark Cunningham.

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

4. First, the little guy went to “Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida in Naples, where veterinarians and staff stabilized him and performed life-saving measures.”

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo / Via tampabay.com

5. From there, he went to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, where he’s proudly the “fourth kitten and eighth panther to receive rehabilitation at the zoo,” according to the FWC.

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

6. Though he weighed 2.8 pounds when he was first brought in, according to the zoo, he now weighs 4.1 pounds and is “growing every day”!

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

7. He’s still receiving 24-hour care from the zoo’s vet team for now…

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo / Via tampabay.com

8. …and they’re hoping to move him to a more meat-based diet soon.

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

9. Because he was so discovered so young, he won’t be returned to the wild…

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

10. …but when he’s old enough, he’ll live in the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to “help to raise awareness and aid with potential research efforts,” according to the FWC.

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

11. “This kitten exemplifies how joint efforts of the FWC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners are helping recover imperiled species in Florida,” said Kevin Godsea, manager of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge for the USFWS.

12. Zoo officials still haven’t named the kitten, but we’ll hopefully get an announcement soon!

13. Luckily, he’s very healthy and super cute, no matter what his name is.

Dave Parkinson / Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

14. Here’s a video explaining the kitten’s amazing story so far:

View this embed ›

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