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Man Comes Across Florida Panther and Snaps a Photo for Proof

Jason Francis was looking for wild turkeys when he came across something far more exciting—an endangered Florida panther. Francis told local southwest Florida news station, WINK, that this is the second time he’s seen a panther in the Babcock Ranch Preserve. This time, he got a grainy cellphone photo to prove it.

Thankfully, the encounter was momentary and friendly. Francis and the panther crossed paths briefly, with about 30 feet between them, before the panther turned and headed in the opposite direction.

Francis told WINK that he couldn’t get a video up and running before the animal ran away. Maybe next time.

Florida panther
Image by Jason Francis via WINK

Florida panthers are a subspecies of mountain lion that live in south Florida. They represent the only cougar population east of the Mississippi.

According to the Florida Natural History Museum, this endangered subspecies once numbered as few as 20 individuals. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now estimated to be more than 200 adults in the forests and swamps of south Florida.

These predators typically stay away from humans, but encounters do happen. If you come across a Florida panther (or any other type of mountain lion), make loud noises and throw rocks in the direction of the animal to encourage it to flee.

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  1. I know Jason, there is a video. It was im the clip from WINK. You obviously didnt interview him.

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