If you live in a suburban area, you can quickly forget that, when it comes to animal life, human beings are not alone in their surroundings. It does not matter what part of the world you live in; there are animals native to that region. It is inevitable that you will run into them at some point.
Florida resident Phil Hendra got a surprise visit from an unexpected guest on his front porch. Hendra was about to step outside to see what was driving his dogs crazy. He could not believe his eyes. His dogs had been barking all morning, and up until then, he thought it was just the passing traffic.
When he finally took a peek outside to investigate, his jaw fell to the floor. It was not traffic bothering the dogs at all…it was a Florida panther! He immediately grabbed his camera so he could capture the crazy encounter.
In the meantime, the big cat seemed to be enjoying herself. She just sat there admiring Phil’s landscaping. Phil had a moment of panic when the noise from his clicking camera caught her attention. These big cats can grow up to seven feet long, and they are not to be messed with.
Thankfully, the panther did not seem to be bothered. In fact, she was so comfortable; she sat on the front porch for another 20 minutes. Why she chose this particular porch was anyone’s guess.
Then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the panther left. Phil and his parents have not seen her since.
Even though the wild feline that made an appearance on Phil’s porch is a Florida panther, its name is misleading as these animals are not technically panthers at all. They are, in fact, cougars; this particular breed of cougar is native to Florida.
The Florida panther earned the distinction of being named Florida’s state animal in 1982.
In 2013, researchers stated that there were just 160 Florida panthers still living in the wild. While this is a small number, it is still much higher ththant was in the 1970s, when only 20 were thought to be alive out of captivity!
It’s really rare to spot a panther in the wild!
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