Hundreds of Panther Sightings Reported in Florida

Hundreds of sightings of panthers roaming wild in Florida have been reported by the public to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website launched a year ago, the agency said in a news statement.

As of August 2013, the public had submitted 790 sightings to, where people can record when and where they saw a panther or its tracks, FWC said.

“Only 12 percent of the reports included a photograph and could be evaluated by Commission biologists. Of those with photos, the majority were confirmed as panthers. Other animals identified by FWC biologists were bobcats, foxes, coyotes, dogs, house cats and even a monkey. Most often the reported animal or tracks belonged to a bobcat, when it was not a panther.”

Verified reports were largely confined to southwest Florida, a well-documented breeding range for panthers in the state. There also were several verified sightings in south central Florida.

“The public’s willingness to share what they have seen or collected on game cameras is incredibly helpful and shows us where panthers presumably are roaming in Florida,” said Darrell Land, the FWC’s panther team manager.

“As the population of this endangered species grows, the FWC expects more Florida panthers to be seen in areas of the state where they have not lived for decades,” Land added. “To properly plan and manage for the expansion of the panther’s range in Florida, information about where the panthers are is vital.” (Read the related post Breeding success for Florida’s wild panthers.)

The FWC has a new “E-Z guide to identify panther tracks” available at

The agency estimates the Florida panther population to be 100 to 160 adults and yearlings, a figure that does not include panther kittens. As recently as the 1970s, the Florida panther was close to disappearing, with as few as 20 animals in the wild.

This post was based on press materials sent by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Learn more about Florida panthers at

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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  1. Jenny
    Key West
    August 17, 8:13 am

    On July 25th 2017 we were on a plane waitimg for takeoff at the Key West airport. I was looking out of the window towards a green brush area. There was a break in the brush and saw a large black cat like figure walking in between. Much larger than a typical house cat. Had a long distinct tail. Happened too fast to take a pic! Very cool.

  2. Lindsey haller
    Inverness Florida
    July 24, 5:48 pm

    I Was out on my lanai watching some white tip deer eating some apple corn that I put out for them and saw a black and grey panther stalking the 5 deer that were eating ….

  3. Katie Vanyi
    Worthington Springs/ Lake Butler area North Central FL
    July 16, 3:58 pm

    Spotted large black panther crossing through wide open clean cut private field around 3:30 pm 7/16/17 off County Road 18 on my way to the hunting woods. Big slender body with that undeniable long black tail. Special day!

  4. Anne Medders
    Cypress Springs subdivision, East Orlando, FL United States
    April 23, 8:43 pm

    4/23/17 just before dusk, my husband I were sitting on patio looking out toward the conservation area and saw a large, black ‘panther-like’ animal climbing down a cypress tree about 50 yards away. Long sleek body, long tail – and pitch black coat. We watched for about 20 seconds as it made it’s way down the tree and disappeared into the underbrush of the conservation area.

  5. frannie
    blackwater wildlife management area. Milton fl.
    April 15, 12:41 pm

    Was sharpening claws on cedar tree. Blackwater state forest off sandy forest road. Left when it saw me but came back when I used my turkey call. Saw it was me up a tree and left again.

  6. charles creekmore
    Destin Fl 32541
    April 9, 9:56 am

    saw Black cat (bob Cat) 24 to 30 inches stalking my mankoon domestic cat in back yard fence inclose 8′ high practically cleared it with vertical non running jump Sunday morning 7 am WOW!!!

  7. joni a linn
    Bivens arm/ Bivens Rim forest
    March 11, 2:58 pm

    I was at a Creek with my two year old catching small aquarium fish when I heard something. I saw it running away. It was about 150 lbs. It was very afraid of me.

  8. Judy
    North Fort Myers florida
    January 26, 10:42 am

    My neighbor said she seen a black panther going across the front of her yard, do we have black Panthers in North Fort myers florida?

  9. Selma
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
    December 24, 2016, 9:55 pm

    I was in total disbelief when within the past week I saw a black panther , not one time however two times at night crossing the road on to the other side of the State Forest. I have seen bears, coyotes, bob cats and my friend has seen a Florida (beige) panther…The black panther was huge…Long elongated body and long took long strides..I mentioned to my Grandson I had seen it and e described seeing the animal crossing the road that week also…

  10. Larry
    Melbourne, FL
    November 26, 2016, 11:52 am

    MY wife looked out the back French doors yesterday, early afternoon, and watched a young panther walk across the back yard. It stopped under the birdfeeder. She opened the door to take a picture and it left staying outside the conservation area.

  11. Domenico Porpora
    Manatee county
    November 7, 2016, 11:08 pm

    Large Panther spotted behind my house around 5.30 nov 7th. My friend had three chickens killed three nights ago.

  12. Veda
    DeFuniak Springs Fl
    October 4, 2016, 4:35 pm

    I took my dog out at 1:10 am Sept. 26 2016 and I was growled at by a panther I must have startled.( It overturned the trash can as it departed but left several tracks that I photographed.) I know the sound very well having moved from a rural area in NC {cougars}. My spouse spotted a pair of eyes peering through the darkness last night October 3rd, 2016. and two cubs just outside of his shop about four months ago at dusk. My son saw one crossing the road at dusk back in February. We live at the lake in a wooded area where there aren’t any other houses.

  13. Tiara Kam
    Near Okeechobee, FL
    September 11, 2016, 8:02 pm

    Spotted very large black panther around 7 PM (sunset) walking in the grass next to Florida Turnpike a few miles Northeast of Okeechobee. First spotted the long black tail from a little ways down the road and was wondering what it was so I watched as we got closer and attached to the tail was a huge sleek black body and upon further investigation it turned out to be a black panther. Just wanted to share my sighting! 9/11/16

  14. Myron
    East Orlando, Curry Ford Road,Andover Cay Subdivision
    September 7, 2016, 9:30 pm

    Watched a large 70-80 pound cat come out of the woods and cross the street in front of me. It was about the size of a German Sheppard with a long tail that hooked upward at the tip.
    Spotted on 9/7/16 around 8 pm.

  15. james kohnke
    st johns county palm valley neck road
    August 7, 2016, 4:20 pm

    there are 4 neighbors who have seen the big panther in the last couple months there is 80 acres of conservation land at the end of are road there trying to wipe out and build houses on the panthers hunting grounds ,the way the greedy builders are going the fla panthers wont have a home left

  16. james kohnke
    st johns county palm valley neck road
    August 7, 2016, 4:18 pm

    there are 4 neighbors who have seen the big panther in the last couple months there is 80 acres of conservation land at the end of are road there trying to wipe out and build houses on the panthers hunting grounds

  17. Davey Lucas
    August 3, 2016, 8:28 pm

    Have seen black ones around what used to be muck farms,but are now preserves. Have been seein them many years.

  18. george
    silver springs state park, marion co. fl
    July 19, 2016, 9:08 pm

    spoted a black cat the size of a good size dog crossing a small clearing disappearing into the brush at 7:00 in the morning. once in cover it stopped briefly to stare back at me and then
    vanished. i had been walking in the state park.

  19. Tom
    Venice, FL
    June 20, 2016, 3:06 pm

    My wife and I saw a panther crossing River Road just south of the intersection at Venice Avenue. It was much larger than a bobcat and it had a much longer tail.

  20. Dina
    Northeast of Orlando
    May 22, 2016, 10:11 pm

    A panther has been seen in Geneva multiple times. FWC refuses to believe the reports and claim they are Bobcats. Well bobcats don’t have 4′ long tails.
    Also, a hunter down in Jupiter, sitting in his tree stand, saw a black panther(melanistic Fl. panther hopefully and not an escaped Jaquar) that he said had to be close to 250lbs.

    I’m glad to see their numbers climbing!

  21. Kim
    Boynton Beach, FL
    April 14, 2016, 3:46 pm

    Years ago (maybe 10?) when I lived in an apartment community in Tampa Palms, I was driving down the remote driveway to our cluster of buildings in the middle of the day when a Florida panther slowly walked across the street in front of me. It is a sight I will certainly never forget. I immediately called the police to report the sighting (not knowing who to call) and was told that sightings of panthers in that area were not uncommon. The apartments were directly beside a nature preserve, so we did see a great deal of wildlife, but I am still shocked that they didn’t take a report.

  22. Francine Wilson
    New Port Richey Florida
    March 1, 2016, 12:46 pm

    In Hacienda Village, crossing Oviedo Ave at 9:00 pm. It was very visible from the opposite end of Oviedo, walking slowly across the street between rows of houses where the street light doesn’t reach. Large cat shape, with a long tail. Moved like a cat and crossed the road in 3 strides.

  23. Francine Wilson
    New Port Richey Florida
    March 1, 2016, 12:41 pm

    Hacienda Village, crossing the street ,Oviedo Ave,, at 9:00 pm. My dog jumped up on the couch and refused to come down. She was barking in a terrifying manner that I had never heard her use before. When she settled down we went outside and down Oviedo. When turning back towards the house ()

  24. fernando osorio
    duval county
    February 29, 2016, 8:36 pm

    I saw a couple yesterday morning close to the pine trees

  25. jim farrell
    rotonda west Fl.
    January 31, 2016, 9:26 pm

    Today 31jan16, bicycling north on Gasparilla Nature Trail. Near mm5.5 long tailed sleek black panther. It appeared to be “eating” something along side the trail. Quitely moved into the near brush. Did not seem threatened by my near silent appearance, just moved off.. Easily 4X the size of a house cat. Sleek, confident, jet black, long lazy tail.

  26. S. Beardsley
    Jacksonville, FL
    January 22, 2016, 10:16 pm

    A friend of mine just moved into a home against some woods in Duval County and had a game camera installed. He showed me a photo taken with what appears to be a large black cat which based on its position relative to other animals previously photographed appears to have a shoulder height approaching 2 ft. It certainly looks like a black panther.

  27. Mario Orellana
    Tandori Cir Orlando, Florida
    January 19, 2016, 7:03 pm

    My neiborgg sent me this text message: Passing on a FB post

    *****ALERT***** Today around 2:30 my father saw what he believed to be a “Black Panther” in my back yard. My father said he was standing at my sliding glass doors looking out in my back yard and the cat came up to my pool to get a drink of water. The cat then noticed my father peering through the glass and it took off leaping over a 6 ft fence to my neighbors yard. My father said the cat cleared the fence by 2 or 3 feet. My father also said the cat appeared to weigh about 100 lbs. i do live on Tandori and my home backs up to the conservation area. Please protect yourselves and bring in your fur babies!

  28. Frank
    December 16, 2015, 1:12 pm

    One night in late November at 11:15 p.m. I was walking my small white Coton DeTulear dog as I always do before retiring to bed. I heard rustling in the shrubbery in front of my home. What ran by me at first, I thought was a large light colored dog that probably had gotten loose from a neighbors house. As it passed by me, I saw the rear of this animal but still did not know what it was until it stopped for about 5 seconds turned and glared at me. The rear view I saw at first was a very muscular light colored animal with a full tail. When it stopped it was obvious to me that this was no large dog at all but a full grown Panther in excess of 100 lbs. After pausing and looking at me it quickly ran towards the back of my home and away into the night. If it decided to attack my small dog I couldn’t do much to help. I was in slippers and pajamas. Thank God, it didn’t attack. I went into my home and had chills after what I had just witnessed. I told my wife what I just saw and now she refuses to take our dog out at night and leaves that task solely to me. I have lived in Sarasota for 26 years and I have never seen anything like this before. On rare occasions I have seen Bobcats so I know the difference. Bobcats are much smaller in size than Panthers. It scared the life out of me and I don’t easily get frightened my wild animals. I live in a gated community called Amberlea in Sarasota. This was certainly an unusual experience to witness in a gated community in a populated area of Sarasota, FL. I only wish I could have snapped a photo of it, but then it happened so quickly, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get a shot of it even if I had my camera phone with me.

  29. John
    New port Richey Fl
    September 29, 2015, 9:16 pm

    My wife and I were out and about and decided to go to green key to look at the stars. On our way there we took a back road to Green Key road, As we turned the corner we both caught the rear quarters of what we believe to be a panther. It was to big to be a bob cat and it did have a tail. The tail was a lion color fur with a black tip. It ran into the woods and my wife and I were both in disbelief. Im not sure what it was but I know it was one big animal

  30. Mariana
    Parkland Florida
    July 25, 2015, 1:23 pm

    Saw 3 weeks ago a panther crossing the street around a new house development in parkland Florida

  31. Glen Frausto
    North Port Florida
    June 23, 2015, 4:09 am

    We have a pool that getting built and early this morning I looked though the back French doors and heard a deep growl and the black panther jumped from the bottom of the pool to the pavers. It was medium size panther. My two neighbors also have seen this panther. We live near canals and there is fish, rabbits, wild pigs, that can be a food source for the panthers. The neighborhood has several lots that have lots of brush and trees that have been developed and it might be the last sanctuary for the Florida Panther.

  32. Anne Scheffsky
    Largo Florida
    June 22, 2015, 2:07 pm

    We have friends in town visiting and while he was having a cigarette early this morning he heard something on the roof of our house. He saw a huge black cat hop onto our pool cage and climb off into the neighborhood.He said it was a monster -the size of a puma or a panther. I showed him the Florida panther link and he stated that is exactly what he saw only it was black. What a special thing for him to witness! I hope I will get a chance to see him too. Our home backs up to a lake so he must have been out hunting.

  33. Cindi Mandel
    Shell Point/David Dr S fort Myers
    June 12, 2015, 5:51 pm

    This morning @ 7:30 am on my way out of Shell Point towards Summerlin, I too spotted what I initially thought was a very dark Boxer shaped dog. Once it ran across the road, and the manner in which it ran, I realized it was not a dog at all. It did have the stubby tail (not a long one) and after reading this, I think it was a black Bobcat. Spotted just past Caleb Dr but before the Woodlands/Wood song rd. It ran deliberate across SP blvd to the Mangroves. I will be now watching on my drive to work to hopefully get a pic!

  34. freewayryder
    June 11, 2015, 2:33 pm

    I saw one back in 76 on 101 in the northern keys,, it jumped across the road.. ws the size of a small black lab but defiantly a cat. didnt know that the black ones at the time were unusual.. a gorgerious animal and i can still see it in my mind. They are saying on Monster Quest that black large cats don’t exist in the us but I disagree..and I have lived around house cats all my life, this one was NO house cat.. too long, fast and big.

  35. Mari
    May 25, 2015, 2:17 pm

    Friday morning, May 22, 2015 a beautiful panther ran rather quickly in front of my car from one side of the road to the other. It was the first I had ever seen and quite a treat. I had just made the turn off 19 to 40 heading towards Silver Springs.

  36. Marc F.
    East Orlando
    May 3, 2015, 8:40 am

    Panther seen in East Orlando, off of Alafaya Trail, near Stony Brook.

  37. Eric P.
    Niceville Florida
    April 6, 2015, 9:58 pm

    Playing golf alone about 630pm I saw a large tan or brown cat, no spots. It had a long tail and a slender body. I got a good look at it as it casually crossed in front of me maybe 100 feet. I observed the cat for 5 or 6 seconds in the open. It saw me but was not alarmed. I estimate it was 40 to 60 lbs. I would instantly think mountain Lion but I have never heard of them in the Florida panhandle. Can anyone offer a possibility?

  38. Adrian
    DeLand or DeBary
    February 19, 2015, 1:56 pm

    Date was 2/13/15 around 11:00 pm

  39. Adrian
    DeLand or DeBary
    February 19, 2015, 1:55 pm

    Not sure exactly where I saw it but it was a large black cat sitting off the side of the road just past an intersection with a stop light. I was driving south and saw a black mass on my passenger side and thought it was something covered with a black tarp, but then I saw it’s eyes and then its head rotated to follow the car and then I could clearly see its bright eyes and cat silhouette.

  40. Ron Smith
    January 22, 2015, 4:27 pm

    Forgot to include date of my siting: 1/21/15.

  41. Ron Smith
    South of Bunnell on hwy 11
    January 22, 2015, 4:23 pm

    It was 6:15 am and I had turned north off of highway 40 onto highway 11 heading towards Bunnell. After traveling approximately 3 miles or so, I spotted a panther near the edge of the treeline walking south on the east side of highway 11. I have lived in Florida for 35 years and this is only the second panther I have seen in the wild. Last one was approximately 30 years ago on forest road 8 in the Ocala National Forest.

  42. carolyn manning
    port charlotte/ south gulf cove
    December 12, 2014, 7:39 pm

    december11th 3:37 afternoon, small panther crossed in front of my car.walked across the road, stopped looked back, walked into the wooded area and was gone. so cool to see.very young cat, only about 20-25 lbs.

  43. Amie Rodnick
    Austin, TX
    October 23, 2014, 11:21 pm

    We were driving south on A1A going through Ponte Vedra September 7th 2014 and saw a black panther cross the road in front of us. It was the size of a black labrador retriever but was definitely a cat. It happened too quickly to take a photo. The area was fairly suburban, so I assume others saw it.

  44. Dee Sweet
    Venice, Florida
    October 8, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Just this morning as we sat looking at our pool and having our second cup of coffee, the most beautiful, sleek young black leopard decided to look back at us ! He was so awesome and just sat there looking at the house, the pool, etc. He walked away down the side of the house and crossed the street into my neighbor’s yard and looked back at our house once again. He was so shiny and beautiful! Wonderful animal to look at! Hope he comes tomorrow again as I think cats are creatures of habit !!

  45. Butch Black
    North Port, Fl.
    August 6, 2014, 10:31 pm

    No doubt. I had just turned north onto Tamiami Trail from Cornelius, no traffic in front of me or behind me and the cat crossed in front of me from north to south. I’m new to this area from Calif and Oregon, I thought it was a big cougar until I got home and did some research. Brown Pantha. Odd thing is, a couple walking their big dog didn’t even see it as it crossed 50 feet in front of them before crossing 41.

  46. Sean
    North Hutchison Island Ft. Pierce, FL
    July 18, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Two Florida Panther sightings about 10 years ago. One was seen near the entrance of the old hammock trail in North Jetty State Park and the other was seen crossing A1A near Pepper Park.

  47. Squall line
    May 4, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Around 1975 I saw one cross the road from a subdivision into a pine thicket about 3 miles from the university of Fla. Gainesville Fla.

  48. George
    April 17, 2014, 5:11 pm

    I was driving a Uhaul truck towing my trailer home after a breakdown north of Branson and I noticed another Uhaul truck approaching me and it appeared that there was a black trash bag stuck under his truck but he was stopping in the middle of the road, while the car behind him swerved onto the shoulder to avoid hitting him. It looked like the trash bag was rolling then all of a sudden as I approached, the ‘bag’ took off and ran across the road, I never knew there were what I think is a black panther or whatever in FL. it was wild.

  49. Mike M
    April 16, 2014, 6:15 am

    Spotted a large all black cat approx 4ft long on the lake Apopka north side trail about 1 mile out. Was hanging around the aluminum sulfate pumps and stared at me for a good minute before running back into the brush. Didn’t appear to have the bobcat ears, spots, or tufts of hair but I’m not sure if it was a jaguar or leopard, or bobcat. The longer tail makes me lean towards leopard, wish I had a good camera on me!

  50. Bob and Debbie Bickel
    Deltona, Florida, Summerfield farms
    April 11, 2014, 7:35 pm

    April 11, 2014 late morning our dogs gave chase and lucky for the dogs the panther climbed a pine tree 3\4 of the way to the top. I called and the dogs returned and were put in the house. The panther climbed down and disappeared in the thick brush. My wife watched it with field glasses as it climbed down. Very exciting experience and very rare. One big beautiful cat!

  51. Robin spruill
    Flagler beach
    April 8, 2014, 10:46 pm

    Panther ran across path 04.08.14 near flagler beach library. Wow, what an experience! l

  52. Donna Martin
    Fort Pierce, Fl
    April 4, 2014, 7:16 pm

    Last year in the middle of the day, I was traveling north on A1A between Jensen and Fort Pierce, when a Florida Panthers crossed the road in front of me carrying a cub in it’s mouth. This section of the island is known for the panters that roam there.

  53. jean K.
    Port Richey, Fl.
    March 25, 2014, 8:55 pm

    they have signs telling you that there are Panther crossing on a main highway close to the airport in Fort Myers, Fl. So they must be there.

  54. Erica
    Lakeland, Fl.
    March 22, 2014, 11:06 am

    I live in a part of lakeland were there is a lot of woods. I was walking on night at about 9 pm down to my mail box with my neighbor and my dog. All I remember is my dog growling an I looked behind me and he had this black fury thing by the neck. My neighbors dogs all immediately came to help. They actually made it hard for him to concentrate and the black animal got away. As I watched it climb my neighbors tree I said ok its clearly a cat. Then one night I was sitting on my porch enjoying the night eith my light off and I was trying to get what I thought was my dog to come inside. My dog is a large 85 lb black lab and pit mix, and at night his eyes shinr blue. This black animal sat in my neighbors yard across our dirt road and just starred at me. Its eyes shines a blueish gold. As I called my dogs name again he came running up from the opposite direction and the black animal ran up the nearest tree. Then I finally saw what it was. It is not an adult, because its as big as my 85lb do, but it was big and black. I was sitting outside at about 5pm watching my three children play before dinner, when I heard the leaves behind me rustling.y dog took of and I saw a huge black cat climb a tree that was layed down in my other neighbors yard and he looked back to reveal yellow eyes and the face structure of a tiger. He then dissappeared. I am affraid for my children they are said to prdy on small beings snd my children are 4,2,and 1.

  55. Ray
    Wedgefield, Fl
    March 15, 2014, 5:37 pm

    I was driving to work today 3/15/14 at 3:00 AM and so I could not get a picture of it unfortunately. But it was an awesome sight to behold, something that I will remember for a very long time. I was traveling north on 520 and when I moved over to the left lane to merge onto 50, I spotted it in the divide between the north and south 520. It was moving in a westerly direction.

  56. gary
    orlando fl
    March 13, 2014, 11:58 am

    Black panther sern 11:30. Eagle creek construction site .this is populated area.ran into area narcoossee road.

  57. Mike & Karen
    Palm Beach County & southwestern Martin counties
    March 11, 2014, 4:29 pm

    I’ve seen Two Black Fla. Panthers in my life time in the Wild, I’m 66 years old now.
    Once in 1966 and the other in 2012.
    The one in 66 was at night but I was able to put my car’s Bright High beam headlights right on it as it was walking across a dirt road I was on. This sighting was in Hypoluxo, Fla. and clearly a Black Panther as my lights caught it’s full body view from the side. I couldn’t tell if it’s Male or Female.
    The second time was in 2012 when my wife and I were taking an afternoon drive on The DuPuis Auto Tour dirt road and I spotted another Black Panther crossing the dirt road ahead of us. This time my wife was with me to see a Black Panther too. I think this one was younger than the first one I’d seen but we both could clearly see it was a Black Panther.

  58. Mike
    Duval ct fl
    March 1, 2014, 9:19 pm

    I dont think panthers were nearly extinct in fl in the 70s .I know several people,all outdoorsmen,that saw panthers in N florida in the 60s and 70s . Around 1970 , when I was around 10 years old,I caught a glimpse of a big cat somewhere around the Duval and St Johns ct line. It came out of the brush and jumped right back in. It would have been big for a bobcat .so I think it was a young panther.If you talk to the old timers in this area they can tell you plenty of stories about panthers between jax and st augustine,not to mention bears.Sadly,its all going now to developments.

  59. Kelley
    February 2, 2014, 6:09 pm

    While in Tampa over Christmas 2013 my husband I are were at Flatwoods park and we saw a group of 3-4 blank panthers walking off the bike trail behind a large pond. I couldn’t believe what I saw! They were beautiful to watch from a distance!!!

  60. robert petty
    Shell Point
    January 22, 2014, 4:19 pm

    I also saw an adolescent panther run across Shell Point Blvd. near the Woodlands at around 3:00pm on Jan. 3, 2014. Didn’t think anything of it till I researched how rare these animals truly are. Wondering if anyone else has seen one in that area of Ft. Myers besides Pam Lowe?

  61. Chris Martin
    Ft.Myers, Fl.
    January 6, 2014, 7:41 am

    A Fl. Panther ran across the road 20 feet in from of my truck this morning. This was on Buckingham Rd. between the S- curves.
    I have lived in Fl. most of my life ( I”m 57 ) and this is the first one I have seen in the wild alive.

  62. Carol McGrory
    Eustis, Florida
    December 28, 2013, 1:20 pm

    I live on a small lake in an oak hammock. This past April, I was awake late at night and looking out at the lake and saw a panther walking along the shore by the light of the moon….I saw more of a silouette of it, but it was a big cat with a tail longer than the length of its body. I saw it again very clearly by the light of my neighbors motion detector light on Labor Day weekend. The night before last, I heard something LARGE walking around on my roof. And then heard it jump off the roof to my deck….it actually made my house shake!! So, Last night I came out on my deck, thinking it might be there again, and I startled it. It went scurrying down a tree that grows in the middle of my deck and jumped about 20 feet to the ground! I saw it plain as day! Scared the HELL out of me and him. My concern is my 21 month old grandson and my chocolate lab.

  63. Pam Lowe
    Shell Point Fort Myers 12/26/13
    December 26, 2013, 6:22 pm

    5:20 pm behind the large pond adjacent to the woods in the Woodlands. Sauntering down the sidewalk at dusk, for a few minutes , then disappeared into the mangroves. Had an iPhone only but too far away and too sudden for a photo.

  64. Dave Mahon
    Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge - Sanibel island, FL
    December 25, 2013, 9:03 pm

    At 4:15 today (Xmas Day) I was about 1/2 way on the Indigo Trail, riding my bike East. I saw a big cat (at least 2 feet tall at the back haunches) that looked like a black panther walking down the trail ahead of me. I stopped and watched it walk Eastward (towards the Education Center). As I was all alone, I turned around and rode my bike the other way. I had seen scat on this same trail, as I walked it the day before, that looked like panther scat (I checked pictures of it it online).

  65. Mick
    November 19, 2013, 5:07 pm

    Just saw a young lighter colored panther in my back yard a few minutes ago.
    Wow it was beautiful but I am also a little nervous about my two cats as they go outside a lot .
    I look around for where my one big cat is as he runs past the
    Panther to come in the house as it starts to pour outside!
    The panther just goes back into the woods and I could not believe what I just saw.

  66. Amanda
    Durant Fl
    October 22, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Just seen a FL Panther this morning in my backyard. I just couldn’t believe it! I have never seen one or even heard of anyone seeing one. Wow pretty awesome but scary due to my little kids that like to play in the yard

  67. Cathy
    October 10, 2013, 6:59 pm

    I too have seen panthers (group of 3 – 2 large/1 small) in Marion Oaks – Pine Eden. My daughter also seen 3 – which we believe was the same group. On Aug 17 2013 there was a large bear right outside my front door. Needless to say I was startled. It stood up, turn around and slowly walked away. I grabbed my camera and was able to get a few pictures of it. Now today, I seen something I have no idea exactly what it was. It was a very large solid black cat, rear legs longer than the front legs, big head, long tail and about knee high. It was larger than a bobcat – it was about the size of a panther. I’m putting up a tree cam so I can obtain some pictures of them.

  68. Paula Martin
    United States
    August 26, 2013, 7:35 pm

    I lived in Floral City, Fl – I was staying in this pool house of my boyfriends brother’s house and was sitting out back one day on the phone with my mom in Ohio and seen a black Panther in a neighbor’s back yard, it went next to a tree and laid down and I remember telling my mom that I just seen a black panther and was walking to the edge of my yard and it got up and ran away, I thought that was pretty cool.

  69. Denise
    New Jersey
    August 26, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Once again. Man going into wild animal areas and in shock they are seeing wild animals! They were there first! And as for the Airboat guy saying one killed a deer, well they have to eat! And if they are going into populated areas, its because we are invading their space!

  70. Ellory Dahl
    August 24, 2013, 4:09 pm

    Yeah wild animals in the wild that’s a horrible thing we want to save all these wild animals in Africa but when it’s in our own backyard we’re scared to death of them the only living creature on this planet that anyone should fear other humans the only species that kills fear, ignorance and intolerance when i moved out to the contry and coyotes started killing off my pets someone said take a gun and shoot the coyotes i told them i didn’t come out here to kill off the wildlife i put up a fence to keep my livestock and pets safe

  71. Friends of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
    Collier County, Florida
    August 23, 2013, 9:42 am

    Great Story, Thanks! If anyone is looking for more updates and news about the conservation efforts for the Florida Panther, like the Friends of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook!

  72. Ed Cannon
    Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, working
    August 21, 2013, 10:51 am

    I am 5th generation Floridian form the North Marion county area & I have never seen a Florida panther in the wild. Little worried about the large non-native snakes that are creeping to the north part of the state tho. Dang we only had to worry about rattllers, mockisons & coral snakes, now we have to think about these big dudes when your walking thru the swamps.

  73. lol at mike
    August 21, 2013, 6:47 am

    Not sure anyone is shocked by the panther sightings? I think it’s just an informative article about panthers coming back from endangered status. Not sure that panthers are “silent killers out for revenge” either….

  74. Mike
    August 17, 2013, 6:00 pm

    Well duh The everglades is a jungle like ecosystem and that is the natural ecosystem for Panther’s so why are we acting all shocked to see Panther’s in a tropical atmosphere like Florida? I mean seriously Florida Texas, Arizona and southern California has always been the Panther’s Natural Habitat you all just scared cause they are silent killers and have motive to kill humans who destroyed have the tropical jungles in Florida and destroyed their homes lol!

  75. Wild Florida Airboats
    Saint Cloud, FL
    August 16, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Wild Florida Airboats is an eco tour company about 45 mins from Disney and downtown Orlando. We believe a panther killed one of the white tailed deer in our wildlife park exhibit!