Family Spots Rare Florida Panther Lounging on Their Porch


It's not every day you look out the window to see a Florida panther sitting on your porch! Phil Hendra was at his father... Posted by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

At one point in history, Florida panthers could be seen roaming freely throughout the southeastern United States. Today they're limited to Florida's southwestern tip, and even there sightings are still rare. So you can imagine one family's surprise when they found a panther sitting on the porch of their East Fort Myers home last month.

According to CBS News, Phil Hendra and his family were visiting his father's house two weeks ago when his son spotted what he called a "funny dog" sitting outside the door. The panther didn't appear to be bothered by the family's presence, and stuck around for another 20 minutes while they snapped plenty of pictures.

This rare sighting came just days before another Florida panther was filmed about 35 miles away. In the video, which Tina Dorschel posted to her Facebook page, you can see the cat scampering past her on an enclosed walkway in the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Thanks to development, deforestation, and hunting from humans, there are less than 100 Florida panthers left in the wild today. Anyone who sees one is encouraged to report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission through their website.

[h/t CBS News]