Catastrophe: Florida panther species stricken with ataxia. Deliberate poisoning?

UPDATE: 10-4-21 – It looks like this is an epidemic of feline leukomyelopathy (FLM) which also affects bobcats. They think it might be a neurotoxin or a virus. They are working on it. It it is very serious and it may severely impact the Florida panther population. It is affecting many cubs.

Ataxia in Florida Panthers
Ataxia in Florida Panthers
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

If they can’t walk, they can’t run. If they can’t run they can’t hunt. If they can’t hunt they can’t eat and that means they die…

The endangered Florida panther is staggering around its ever diminishing habitat in Florida, USA showing us that it is suffering from ataxia – a lack of coordination due to neurological issues. This is catastrophic news in terms of wildlife conservation in the US. They are investigating but it looks dire. It looks awful. This could spell extinction for the Florida panther as there are only about 100 in existence. They get in the way of business. Business wants them out of the way.

Years ago I wrote about a possible conspiracy to eradicate the Florida panther.

It is utterly tragic to see this fabulously athletic wild cat species wobbling around the place. Horrible.


Florida panther cub who is healthy despite his mother having the disease
Florida Panther afflicted by new neurological disorder: feline leukomyelopathy. Florida panther cub who is healthy despite his mother having the disease. Image National Geographic.

What could have caused it? Poison possibly. Poison from some commercial enterprise which has dumped toxins into water courses? Deliberate poisoning perhaps? For example, the rodenticide, bromethalin, acts on the central nervous system causing ataxia in cats.

Bobcats are also affected we are told. That indicates an environmental problem as opposed to an inherited genetic defect. The Florida panther is inbred because it lives in isolation, cut off from all other mountain lions in North and South America.


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