The clinical outcomes of six free-ranging Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) that underwent surgical stabilization of appendicular long-bone fractures (three femoral fractures, one tibial and one tibial and fibular fracture and two radial and ulnar fractures) were evaluated. These panthers presented to the University of Florida from 2000–2014. Estimated age of the panthers ranged from 0.5 to 4.5 yr, and weights ranged from 22 to 65 kg. Causes of injuries were vehicular collision (n = 4) and capture related (n = 2). All panthers underwent open reduction and fracture stabilization. Fixation failure necessitated three subsequent surgeries in one panther. Five panthers survived the immediate postoperative period, and all of these panthers' fractures obtained radiographic union (range, 8–36 [mean, 22] wk). The five surviving panthers underwent convalescence for 7–14 mo at White Oak Conservation Center before being released back into the wild; however, one panther was killed when hit by a car 3 days after release. The remaining four panthers were tracked for up to 106 mo in the wild and successfully integrated back into the native population. Surgical stabilization of appendicular long-bone fractures in free-ranging Florida panthers can be successful, but must take into account the stress that a large, undomesticated felid will place on the stabilized limb during convalescence as well as the difficulties involved in rehabilitating a wild panther in captivity.
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