Endangered Florida Panther Spotted in Lake Wales Area
Pets Should Be Safely Confined From the Protected Species
Last updated 4/21/2023 at 12:21pm
An endangered Florida panther, a rare, protected species, has been seen by several members of the public in the vicinity of Lake Wales Country Club. Area residents are encourage to keep pets indoors while the large cat is in the area.
Although they are not known to pose a risk to humans, if the panther is sighted, residents are urged to remain at a great distance. Sighting data, including photographs, may be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website at myfwc.com/hsc/panthersightings.
Panthers are known to range many miles in a single day, and males are especially prone to wandering in search of a mate, while females tend to remain in a smaller home territory. There is still a surviving population of the cats, close relatives of western cougars, in southwest Florida.
Their natural prey includes deer, wild hogs, turkey, and small mammals. Panthers are highly vulnerable to vehicles, which kill many each year.