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Newnan man sentenced for killing endangered panther

August 24, 2011

By Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Newnan man on Wednesday was fined $2,000 and sentenced to two years probation and ordered to not hunt during that time for killing an endangered Florida panther while hunting.

David Adams, 60, was on a deer hunting trip in Troup County in November 2008 when he shot and killed a cougar, known as a Florida panther, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Adams knew at the time he was shooting at a cougar, for which there was no open hunting season in Georgia. The Florida panther (puma concolor coryi) has been listed as an endangered species since March 11, 1967.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have long worked to bring the Florida panther back from the edge of extinction. The population has been growing since its low point of less than 30 panthers in the wild in the late 1980s, to more than 100 to 160 adults today.

“Today’s sentencing affirms our commitment to investigate violations of the federal wildlife laws intended to protect our Nation’s most imperiled species,” said Luis J. Santiago, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's southeast region law enforcement office.

Adams was sentenced by a federal judge in Atlanta who also ordered Adams to not obtain a hunting license anywhere in the United States while he is on probation.

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