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Feb 20, 2014

Rescued Florida Panther Kitten at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for Care

A rescued Florida panther kitten has arrived at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for neonatal care and rearing. Initial assessments indicate the 4-week-old kitten is healthy and active with an excellent appetite. The young male weighed 2.8 pounds (1.29 kilograms) upon arrival at the Zoo, and is now 4.1 pounds (1.86 kilograms) and growing every day.

TAMPA, Fla. (February 20, 2014) — A rescued Florida panther kitten has arrived at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for neonatal care and rearing. Initial assessments indicate the 4-week-old kitten is healthy and active with an excellent appetite. The young male weighed 2.8 pounds (1.29 kilograms) upon arrival at the Zoo, and is now 4.1 pounds (1.86 kilograms) and growing every day.

The kitten is currently receiving 24-hour care from the Zoo’s veterinary team led by Dr. Ray Ball, director of medical sciences. In the next few weeks, staff will work with the kitten to wean from a bottle to a meat-based diet. At approximately 8-weeks-old, he will receive his kitten vaccinations prior to transfer to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where he will live.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to provide veterinary support for the wild Florida panther population. The young male is the fourth kitten and eighth panther to receive rehabilitation at the Zoo. The Zoo has provided a home for a total of six panthers, including current resident Calusa (“Lucy”), a 6-year-old female. In addition to the rehabilitation of Florida panthers, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has become an active member of the field team for the FWC that captures and tracks panthers with radio collars, and collects biomedical data to provide data to scientists and managers.

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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