Panthers and Bears, Oh My…..
When most people think of Florida, they think of sunshine and sandy beaches.
And this is partly true, but there is more to Florida than a glorious lifestyle of mild weather.
When the Captain and I moved to Florida …I was surprised to learn of all the different types of wildlife, many of them endangered and many that are just simply beautiful to watch.
There are the common animals like deer, alligators, lizards and other reptiles, sharks, parrots, brightly colored birds such as the Bunting….. and the most beautiful butterflies in shades of blue and green that I have ever seen
Of course, everyone has heard of manatees…I posted about them a couple years ago. See link below.
And I have posted about the Little Burrowing Owls, the Florida Scrub Jay and of course the infamous Eagles, Ozzie and Harriet…see links below.
But Florida also has panthers…. and black bears.
Panthers are native to SW Florida and many are killed on our highways.
It is always sad to pick up the morning paper and see yet another death of these beautiful creatures.
In my research, I found that in 2014, a Florida panther was hit by a car and killed, on average, once every two weeks.
It’s a staggering amount for an endangered species.
Thirty-three of the endangered cats died last year — 25 were hit by cars.
To best understand the issue, you have to start with this fact: panthers need a lot of space.
“That requires them to cross roads. When you have panthers crossing roads and lots of people driving, the inevitable will happen.
Plus, by building more sub-divisions, we are slowly pushing their habitat further and further into the Everglades.
The panther below was caught and tranquilized in a prominent Naples neighborhood. It was given a special tracking collar and released back into the wild.
Florida’s black bear population is growing and so is the debate on how to handle them.
There is talk of having a bear hunting season which I have mixed feelings about.
Bears, like panthers are certainly dangerous… especially when you have them tearing open the screen on a pool and relaxing by the pool as in the pic above.