What to do If You Spot a Panther

Information provided by the National Parks and Conservation Association

Face to face | What if a Panther Kills my Livestock | An Injured or Dead Panther

Face to Face

Panthers do not like coming in contact with humans. It goes against all their natural instincts, but sometimes by mistake their roaming behavior brings about contact with people. As human activities intrude deeper into natural Florida panther habitat, these interspecies encounters become more likely.

If you see a Florida panther, whether it is on your property or in the wild, stay calm. No Florida panther has ever attacked a human. More than likely, it will run away.

Keep children and pets inside or in your vehicle. If for any reason the panther doesn't run away, show no fear. Make lots of noise. And don't turn your back on it. (Back away from the animal.)

Report your sighting, especially if the animal appears to be a threat to anyone or seems to be sick or injured. Call the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission at (904) 488-3831.

What if a Panther Kills my Livestock

If you own land near a panther preservation area, these endangered animal may wander into your fields. They are not aware of the boundaries between public and private land. Try to be understanding of how your habitat and the panther's overlap. They pose little threat to your livestock, preferring deer and wild hogs. This does not have to be a crisis. If you are a landowner, don't reach for a gun. Drive the panther off instead.

An Injured or Dead Panther

Reports of injured animals are extremely critical. A promptly reported sighting, with an accurate location, can mean the difference between life and death for a Florida panther. These are very rare creatures. Even if the animal you see appears to be dead, you should report it immediately. Panther deaths and causes of death are meticulously recorded to help find ways to ensure the survival of those that remain. Call the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission at (904) 488-3831