A volunteer at the Audubon Corkscrew Sanctuary Swamp caught this panther on the boardwalk. The boardwalk is about 2.25 miles long, and the panther went along about 0.5 miles of it before jumping to the side.
Panthers have a walk that looks so casual they are in need of a lawn chair with a cigar & beer to top it all off.
We had a similar incident in our park in 2007 when a hiker on one of our trails followed a panther for about 15 minutes. They got a video of it, but we have never seen it. So it was nice to see this video with the panther strut!
Here is the story from ABC-7 news:
Rare daytime panther sighting caught on video:
COLLIER COUNTY: Volunteers at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary caught a rare sight on video. The volunteers saw a Florida panther strolling on the sanctuary boardwalk and one of the volunteers recorded it on video.
The volunteers said the panther walked on the boardwalk for almost half a mile before jumping off and disappearing. Fish and Wildlife biologists say it’s extremely rare to see an endangered Florida panther, and especially during the daylight and to catch it on video.
Corkscrew volunteer, Dick Brewer, says he first thought the panther was a deer, but when he saw a long tail, he was shocked to discover it was indeed a Florida panther. Within seconds, he reached for his video camera and started recording the creature strutting its stuff on the boardwalk.
"I’ve been here 11 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen an entire panther, and to see one on the boardwalk in daylight, it’s even more unusual", said Brewer.
The other volunteer with Dick Brewer was Phil Nye. He says he couldn’t believe his eyes.
"Well, first of all, you rub your eyes and say am I, did I have a bad night last night? Or, was this really a panther? And the answer was, yes, this was really a panther. Amazing," said Nye.
FWC panther biologists say the panther caught on camera is female and weighs about 100 pounds. Biologists say panthers are not aggressive and do not attack people, unless provoked first.
Right now, the FWC estimates about 100 panthers roaming the state of Florida.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, located at 375 Sanctuary Road West, in Naples, is open for visitors from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day between April 11 and September 30.
Between October 1 and April 10, Corkscrew is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission to the boardwalk within one hour of closing is not allowed.
The Sanctuary may close when severe weather threatens. For more information on admission fees, call (239) 348-9151.