Increase in Florida panther interactions a result of conservation success

A Florida Panther (Tim Donovan/FWC)

The number interactions between Florida panthers and both domesticated animals and humans is on the rise, which Florida officials say is the result of conservation success.

Year to date, there have been 32 panther depredation events, all in Collier County, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). That is a record number and resulted in the loss of more than 50 animals.

“The likelihood of panther depredations on backyard animals and pets can be greatly reduced if people take the necessary precautions,” FWC panther team leader Darrell Land said in a news release. “The best way to protect small livestock is to keep the animals in a secure, fenced enclosure with a roof, especially at night. Also, pets like dogs and cats should be kept indoors at night or in an outdoor, panther-proof pen.”

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