Video: Panthers stroll down Estero neighborhood

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Estero resident Donna Stachelek captured video of panthers strolling around her neighborhood in Estero.

Stachelek took the video back in October at Wildcat Run Golf & Country Club on the 20000 block of Country Club Drive.

“Now I know why the neighborhood is called Wild Cat Run,” she said.

The video is just now making the rounds on social media.

“My son and I were just going for a bike ride. We heard a lot of noise in the woods and splashing in the water,” Stachelek said. “Then these two panthers came running out. The first one really fast! The second one just stopped in its tracks and looked at us. That’s how I was able to get the video.”

Stachelek only had time to get one of the panthers on video.

“I froze to be honest,” she said. “I just stood there and didn’t move and thought where are these panthers going, because it was running toward the condos.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offered the following tips if you encounter a panther:

  • Keep children within sight and close to you.
  • Give the panther space. Most Florida panthers will avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run. Stand and face the animal. Make eye contact.
  • Avoid crouching or bending over. Squatting or bending over makes you look smaller, resembling a prey-sized animal.
  • Make yourself appear larger, open your jacket, raise your arms, throw stones, branches, etc. without turning away.
  • If attacked, fight back with whatever is at hand (without turning your back).

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