How to handle a panther

Florida panther

Florida panther

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 01:40 PM.

 

A Florida panther is a subspecies of mountain lion or puma.

During the 1880s, a $5 bounty on the panthers encouraged their eradication, but the war on these cats failed, barely. In 1958 the panther was protected by law, and in 1967 was listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1973, when the cat population had shrunk to 60, it was added to the Florida endangered list.

There are now about 150 Florida panthers, most fitted with radio transmitter collars.The panther's diet consists of small animals like rabbits, rodents, waterfowl and sometimes larger animals like storks, white-tailed deer, and wild boar. They will also attack small farm animals like chickens and goats and companion animals like dogs and cats. Never leave an animal tied in an area where you suspect there may be a panther.

There has never been a fatal attack on a human being by a Florida panther.

Since 1909, just 20 people have died as a result of puma attacks anywhere in North America, while there have been more than 60,000 fatal attacks on pumas by humans.. About 62 people die each year from lightning strikes in the US so you're more than 300 times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a cat.

According to animal behavior experts, cats, including puma, are intimidated by any animal that is larger and especially taller, than themselves, and by things that approach rapidly. If you encounter a big cat, try to make it see you as a dominant predator. Showing aggression will often cause a cat to flee.



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