Posted Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at 3:17 PM
In an effort to save Florida panthers from extinction, wildlife officials have successfully bred the elusive creatures with Texas pumas.
A new study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology said the plan has shown encouraging results since eight female pumas were imported to mate with the native Sunshine State panthers. The population now ranges from 100 to 160, a huge boost from the 20 to 26 panthers in Florida before the program was launched in 1995.
Endangered since 1967, the big cats still face threats from loss of habitat and being hit by vehicles.