FWC continues panther relocation efforts
Friday, December 27, 2013
Media contact: Katie Johnson, 561-882-5709; Doc Kokol, 850-488-9327
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will redeploy traps as it continues efforts to capture a panther that has been sighted sporadically in an area of Golden Gates Estates west of Collier Boulevard (CR 951) in Collier County.
The FWC panther team, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been closely monitoring this area since late November, as part of an ongoing effort to relocate this panther to a more suitable, less urban habitat. Panther biologists have followed up on people’s reports of the panther with site visits and deployed game cameras to identify the panther’s travel routes. There has been an increase of FWC law enforcement patrols in the area, and the brochure, A guide to living with Florida panthers, has been distributed to area residents with the help of Defenders of Wildlife.
“Panthers are sometimes seen in urban areas, but these cats generally move on to more appropriate habitat,” said Kipp Frohlich, deputy director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “The FWC is assessing and acting on the best steps to protect the public, as well the best actions to ensure this panther can be safely relocated.”
The FWC is asking for the public’s help in reporting sightings of a panther in this area. People who have seen a panther, its tracks or other evidence of panther activity can call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
If you see a panther, remember to give panthers space. Florida panthers typically avoid confrontation. Make sure they have a way to escape. For more on Florida panthers, including a guide to living with Florida panthers, go to MyFWC.com/Panther and click on the “Living with Panthers” PDF.