Research

The dying panthers suddenly forgot how to walk. What is happening to them?

The number of people on planet Earth is constantlygrows, but numerous species of animals are gradually dying out. At the moment, the Red Book lists about 90 thousand animals, plants and mushrooms that are on the verge of extinction. In addition to them, scientists identify another 600 species of endangered animals that are not yet listed in the book. One of the rare predators is the so-called Florida panther, whose population is declining due to hunting and deforestation. Recently, these animals began to die for completely unknown reasons - their legs suddenly fail and they can’t walk.

Florida Panther

About 50 years ago, this species of panther inhabitedquite a large territory of the United States, but now its representatives can be found only in the south of the US state of Florida. These wild cats can be recognized by the yellow-brown color of the coat, black marks on the tail and ears, as well as on the rounded ears. As a rule, they live in marshy areas and dense forests, hunting both small animals like hares and mice, and deer and alligators.

Why do wild cats die out?

People noticed a decrease in Floridapanthers in the middle of the 20th century. To save them, in 1958, the local authorities had to ban them from hunting. Almost ten years later, in 1967, the predator was added to the US Red Book and recognized as an endangered animal species. In 1995, scientists tried to increase the population by releasing several females to males. The attempt was successful - at the moment, about 230 Florida panthers live in the world.

Hunting Florida Panthers officially banned

Unfortunately, panthers recently started againdie out. Researchers have noticed that at least 10 predatory cats have trouble walking. For reasons unknown at the moment, panthers lose control of their hind legs and subsequently die. This can happen for completely different reasons, from infection with a dangerous infection to poisoning with a substance.

In nature, things are very bad: due to global warming, one species of mammal has officially died out

Poisonous algae kill animals

Panthers can really get sickinfectious diseases. For example, they can catch a virus from their victim, like a small rat. It is also likely that they drink contaminated water. After all, do you remember our news that several dogs recently died in the United States, just swimming in lake water? It turned out that poisonous algae grew on it, which in essence are microscopic creatures - cyanobacteria. It may well be that dangerous algae began to kill wild cats.

Florida Panther in its natural habitat

It is also likely that panthers began to losecontrol over your legs due to exposure to rat poison. Inhabitants of Florida often poison harmful rodents, which do not die soon after the poison enters the body. They are able to cover a fairly large distance and die in the forest, attracting the attention of hungry panthers. After eating the victim, the panther may well be poisoned and die.

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As you can see, there are many reasons for the high mortality of Florida panthers and it is quite difficult for scientists to give a definite answer. But which version do you personally stick to? Feel free to write in the comments.

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