Scientific Name: Puma concolor coryi
While Florida panthers can be found in a variety of habitats including forests, prairies and swamps, they are solitary animals that are rarely observed in the wild. One of the reasons they are so hard to find is there are so few; only about 100 adult panthers remain in the wild, making them one the most endangered animals in the world.
Florida panthers are tan color with lighter fur on their belly and inner legs. Males are can grow to 7 feet in length, from nose to tip of the tail and weigh up to 150 pounds. Females are smaller and usually weigh 70 to 90 pounds.
The Florida Panther historically ranged throughout the southeastern US. Now the only wild population is found in southwest Florida near the Caloosahatchee River.
Panthers are carnivores, meaning that they only eat meat. In the wild, panthers eat deer, hogs, raccoons and rabbits. Panthers have been known to take livestock and domestic pets that are left out at night.
Panthers can mate throughout the year but the most productive time is October to March. A female panther will have 1 to 3 kittens but rarely do all kittens survive. Kittens are born blind and it takes two weeks before they are able to open their eyes and begin to walk. Young panthers stay with their mother for up to two years as they learn to hunt and fend for themselves.
Tips for better photos:
- Use a telephoto (zoom) lens. It lets you get closer to the action.
- Use a tripod to eliminate blurry photos
- Take pictures during good light, generally earlier and later in the day
- Shoot lots of photos. Using a digital camera is cheap to do, especially if you have rechargable batteries.
Visit Gatorama for a purr-fectly good time.