Photo courtesy of Mike Barnes
If you plan to walk a boardwalk in Florida’s Parks and Reserves any early morning or late afternoon, you might be lucky enough to see a Florida Panther. They seem to like these elevated pathways for ease of travel and the view into the grass that they afford.
At 5.30 in the afternoon on December 1st 2007 Mike and Nancy Barnes were bird watching on the circular boardwalk at Mahogany Hammock in Everglades National Park. As they rounded the last turn, they had the shock of their lives – there in front of them was a Florida panther, standing on the boardwalk focused on something in the grass below.
As the panther paced back and forth over about 20 feet of the boardwalk, Mike Barnes took three pictures (above). The Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation Commission identified the panther as female #142.
Then, on June 17th 2009, in the Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, volunteer naturalist Dick Brewer and a friend were walking along the boardwalk at 8.15 in the morning, when they spotted a Florida Panther on the boardwalk 20 yards ahead of them. Brewer was luck enough to have a video camera with him and he filmed the cat for 40 seconds as it strolled along the boardwalk that crosses Corkscrew’s grassy wet prairie, and disappeared into the cypress trees.
Watch the video here:
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