|The Florida Panther is a State Protected
Animal, and an endangered species. We will
talk about that later.
First , Let's talk about how cute they are
when they are kittens.
They have little black spots on them like
many other big cats. This camouflage
protects them from other predators, but
since they are on the top of the food chain ;
they really don't have many natural enemies
however humans, who have invaded and
polluted their habitats are another issue.
|Florida Panthers have four toes.Panther Kittens will stay with
their mother for nearly two years and are considered to be
grown at 2 1/2 years old. At that time they are able to breed.
They use scat to mark boundaries or their territory. They
become very solitary when grown and males need almost 200
square miles and females 75 square miles to roam.
|State conservationists have spent millions
of dollars putting up signs like these shown
here, to make people aware when they are
driving in an area where Panthers often
cross the road. The problem there is that
the Panthers don't read and often cross the
road distant to the warning signs.
A better approach is the underpass seen
below. The Panthers as well as other wildlife
have been shown to accept this alternative
route, but this is far more expensive than
|So now we have covered some of the
unpleasant aspects of the Florida panthers
modern life, so let's move on to the joyful
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|Adult Panther males weigh up to 130 pounds, while adult
females weigh up to just 70 pounds. Their colors are a mixture
of tawny brown and gray. One feature very distinct about
these cats is their appearance of having applied eyeliner.
Florida Panthers are a sub-species of the Cougar or Mountain
Lion. Florida Panther scientific name Puma Concolor Coryi.
Below are pictures of each. Can you see the difference in their
|Florida Panther Cougar
|The Florida Panther is important to the South Florida
Ecological System. As the top predator, they help keep
things in balance. Their prey are primarily Deer, Wild Hogs
and Raccoons; all of which can become overpopulated
without the panther. As well, they help with something called
Natural Selection, where the weaker animals become prey
and the better fit animals will thrive. Florida Panthers are
nocturnal and hunt at night.