Operation Panther Relocation
FWC biologists reported on June 1st the successful capture and relocation of an approximately 1 and a half-year-old male panther from an area in Lee County with very limited suitable habitat, thanks to citizens who contacted FWC.
The panther was lingering in a neighborhood very close to a busy four-lane highway. The young, 75-pound panther had most likely left his mother recently in search of new territory, a behavior typical for male panthers of this age. Because of the lack of quality habitat, the number of homes in the immediate area and the panther’s behavior, the FWC panther team, in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, determined that relocation was best for both the panther and local residents.
The team set a trap for the panther and safely captured him. They assessed the panther’s health and determined he was in good condition and ready to be returned to the wild. Before releasing him in Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area, biologists equipped him with a tracking collar so they can follow his movements.
Help with panther research by reporting sightings to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
With milder temperatures throughout the Sunshine State, more people are likely to head to the woods to enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. The FWC is asking the public to assist with Florida panther research and management by reporting sightings of the large feline to the agency’s panther sightings webpage.
The FWC is interested in photos of panthers or their tracks. Anyone lucky enough to capture this large cat on camera is encouraged to submit the picture and sighting location to: MyFWC.com/PantherSightings.