Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were doing routine research on the Florida panther population in mid-January when they found this barely alive panther kitten.

The one pound male kitten was nearly frozen as Florida has had a colder winter than usual. They brought him back to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida in Naples where they veterinarians took care of him and nursed him back to health. According to the FWC, the first two days went like this:

Day 1 - 1/23/14 - A single male kitten is discovered in the den of FP195. The 7-day-old kitten is cold (hypothermic) and listless and shows signs of hypoglycemia. FWC panther biologists determine the tiny 1-pound kitten will not survive in this state without intervention and that it's best chance for its survival is if they rescue him. The biologists take the kitten to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida (ASH) in Naples, where veterinarians and staff perform life-saving measures.

Day 2 - 1/24/14 - FWC panther biologists visit UCFP205 at the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida (ASH) the day after his rescue to assess his condition. UCFP205 improved greatly and was responding as a healthy 7-day-old panther kitten should but still required 24-hour care. Biologists and veterinarians are pleased with the progress the kitten has made and are optimistic about his survival.

Now, a few weeks in to his recover, the kitten seems to be doing pretty well!  Because he was so young when rescued, he won't be able to return to the wild because he won't have learned proper survial skills from his mother. Instead they are going to take him to the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where park visitors may observe him.