Yesterday afternoon, the panther was escorted to a wooded area and released before a small crowd of spectators, including singer-songwriter John Anderson, who helped nudge the animal out her crate with a rendition of "Seminole Wind."
The panther's successful release, just the sixth in the state's history, marks an important moment in the endangered species' recovery. There are thought to be only around 160 panthers left in the state, driven to the brink of extinction due to human encroachment.
"Long live the Everglades and long live the panther," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Ron Bergeron. "We believe this panther has a good chance of contributing to progress we are making in the recovery of this population."