A sign placed in a Golden Gate Estates neighborhood warns residents of panthers after a violent attack was caught on surveillance video.
A panther pounced on a house cat Sunday morning just feet from its front door near 68th Avenue Northeast and Everglades Boulevard North.
WARNING: Some viewers may find the following video disturbing.
The cat owner, who asked to remain unidentified, rescued the cat named River just two months ago.
“I saw how she was and I saw she was in danger, that’s why I brought her home,” the cat owner said. “The last thing that I want or expecting was for her to have a bad ending.”
The attack has raised a lot of concern for nearby residents with children and pets of their own.
“I don’t even want to imagine that we just need to be cautious again with wild animals we need to respect them,” the cat owner said.
Golden Gate Estates resident Curt Hawker said he saw a bobcat under his truck just a few days ago.
“You gotta keep an eye on your animals … an eye on your kids,” Hawker said.
In response to the attack, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission set up a sign at the entrance of the neighborhood with brochures. Staff are also going door-to-door to educate residents on how to reduce conflicts with panthers.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission also offered ways to help deter panthers from entering your yard:
- Remove or reduce low-growing vegetation that can provide cover. Panthers are ambush predators and must get as close as possible before initiating an attack.
- Install motion-activated lighting. The surprise of a light suddenly coming on may alter a panther’s intentions.
- Electric fencing around an enclosure also may deter an inquisitive panther from attempting to get your animals. But it is ineffective when placed on perimeter fencing surrounding one’s property, because panthers can easily jump over a fence and may never come into contact with the hot wire.
Anyone who spots a panther is advised to contact the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at 863- 648-3200 or report it on their website.