From cougar cubs to baby cheetahs, we often hear about young animals that are taken in and cared for by wildlife sanctuaries. However, we rarely hear about what happens to them once they're all grown up. That's what makes this story about a Florida panther pretty unique ...

Rescued in May last year, the injured panther kitten was only nine months old when folks from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) found her. A collision with a vehicle had left her with a break in her right hind leg, rib fractures and bruising around the lungs. The image series below tells the full story of her recovery, from undergoing extensive surgery and spending time recuperating at a conservation centre, to being collared and tagged, and finally released into the wild a year after she was rescued.

Times are tough for this endangered panther species. It's a familiar story in conservation circles: human encroachment threatens wildlife habitats, leading to plummeting animal numbers and increased conflict between people and the local fauna. Florida panthers are no strangers to this scenario, with their current range occupying a measly five percent of historical habitat. In the 1970s, there were only an estimated 20 Florida panthers living in the wild. Fortunately, their numbers have increased to at least 160 since then, and thanks to some good work from the FWC there's now one more wild cat roaming the southeastern state.

With doom and gloom often dominating the wildlife headlines, this conservation success story makes for a welcome change.

Scroll through the gallery below to see this lucky panther's full recovery from rescue to rehabilitation:

For more info, visit PantherNet.