Several years ago a debilitated, emaciated panther was rescued from the side of a Florida highway. He had been shot in the face and the pellets had ruptured both eyes, rendering him blind. The challenges of hunting in the wild without vision proved too difficult. Fortunately, a good Samaritan spotted him, and a team was sent for the rescue.
Uno was transported to the Naples Zoo in Florida where he was nourished back to health, readily devouring savory beef cubes as families watched and learned about the struggles of the Florida panther in their shrinking natural habitat. It is estimated the 120 to 230 Florida panthers exist in the wild today, and while that is a remarkable recovery from the 20-30 that existed in the 1970’s, extinction threatens. Despite conservation efforts and education awareness, the endangered cats still hover at critically low numbers. To worsen matters, dozens are killed by cars on the highways each year.
While Uno lived safely as the protected panther ambassador, the rabbits and squirrels who wandered through his exhibit were not as lucky. Without vision but with many other keen senses, Uno re-sharpened his hunting skills!
For more information visit: http://napleszoo.org/