Into the Wild: A Florida Panther Regains Her Stride

Stories of Caring

Into the Wild: A Florida Panther Regains Her Stride

Into the Wild: A Florida Panther Regains Her Stride

When a young female panther in southern Florida was struck by a car and left severely injured, a team from the DePuy Synthes Vet business sprang into action, donating the proper medical devices to surgeons working to repair the animal’s broken leg.

Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and injury for the Florida Panther, an endangered feline that lives in the forests and swamps of the Sunshine state.

“We are passionate about the well-being of animals and knew we had to help,” said Maria Maroulis, of the DePuy Synthes Vet business, part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. “Knowing that the number of Florida panthers are dwindling and at risk only served to underscore our efforts.”

The DePuy Synthes Vet business is dedicated to animal orthopaedics and has a long history of serving veterinary surgeons and helping animals live healthier, happier and fuller lives.

During the accident the female panther suffered a femur fracture and bruised ribs. Fortunately after she was struck, a caller notified officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who were able to locate and transport the injured animal to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida in Naples.

Veterinary surgeons used a locking compression plate and screws donated by DePuy Synthes to repair the panther’s femur and give her a new lease on life. Ultimately, she was transferred to the White Oak Wildlife Conservation Center. The panther spent 10 months at the center where she was given time to recuperate while continuing to live in the wild.

“This gave the panther the best chance of resuming the life she had known prior to her injury,” said Dr. Marc Havig, who performed the surgery.

Last May, this panther became one of only seven panthers in the Preserve’s history to be returned to the wild thanks to the help of the DePuy Synthes Vet business and many other caring professionals.

”We’re really proud knowing we had a positive impact not only on this one panther’s life, but in helping to preserve the endangered population of Florida panthers,” Maroulis said.