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The adorable panther kitten rescued from a wildlife refuge near Florida's alligator alley is expected to make a full recovery.
The tiny kitten weighed just one pound when he was found, dehydrated and dying from hypothermia, by biologists from the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, reported the Sun Sentinel.
Rescuers rushed the kitten to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Naples for emergency treatment. After a few days of recovery he was moved to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, which is known for treating panthers. Zoo officials report that the kitten is on a powdered milk diet and is being bottle-fed by caretakers. After a few weeks, biologists hope the baby panther will be able to start a meat-based diet. "He looks pretty good now," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson. "We're hopeful."
The video shows the kitten being rescued by biologists as he lies curled up in a ball. The video then shows the heartwarming recovery of the little panther:
The NY Daily News reported that the kitten will not be shown as part of a zoo exhibit, and will be taken to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park when he is old enough to live without a human caretaker. The Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge estimates that there are only 100-160 adult panthers left in south Florida, making the saving of the panther kitten extremely important.
image: YouTube screenshot