FWC offers tips on how to stay safe from panthers
A security camera captured a Florida panther killing a pet cat in a Golden Gate Estates driveway in June 2018. Video submitted by Madeline Lopez. Naples
Sunday's attack prompted Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials to set up a sign at the entrance to Lopez's Golden Gate Estates neighborhood with brochures informing residents about panthers.
They have been going door-to-door to notify residents and educate them on how to reduce conflicts with the animals.
Darrell Land, Florida panther team leader for the agency, gave the following tips:
- Panthers are most active between sunset and sunrise, so homeowners should keep their pets inside, especially at night.
- Domestic animals, like goats and sheep, should be in secure enclosures.
- Because panthers are ambush predators, ridding your yard of "stalking cover" can also help minimize the risk of an attack.
- Bear spray and motion-activated lights also may aid in keeping panthers away.
- If confronted with a panther, residents should make themselves look big, pick up their kids and speak in a loud voice.
- Don't turn your back to it or run.