Rare panther sighting in Central Florida

There are 20 comments on the WTSP Tampa Bay story from Apr 14, 2008, titled Rare panther sighting in Central Florida. In it, WTSP Tampa Bay reports that:

Although it's rare to find a Florida panther in central Florida, state wildlife officials are convinced they have one in Volusia County.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTSP Tampa Bay.

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tony

Tampa, FL

#1 May 5, 2008
My wife saw a panther at anderson park while at the dog park sunday.There were two other witnesses.this was at lake tarpon.
April

United States

#2 Oct 17, 2008
I have seen a panther several times around Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres fl. I would like to report these sightings because it also around two schools where children are frequently. Any tips on who i can contact

“Still no change?”

Since: Sep 08

Tampa, FL

#3 Oct 17, 2008
April wrote:
I have seen a panther several times around Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres fl. I would like to report these sightings because it also around two schools where children are frequently. Any tips on who i can contact
There are schools EVERYWHERE! The Panther is in more danger than the kids.
john

Titusville, FL

#5 Oct 21, 2008
H Akston wrote:
<quoted text>
There are schools EVERYWHERE! The Panther is in more danger than the kids.
that is awesome - now if only the human species would leave it alone maybe this beautiful animal and icon of florida can make a comeback! leave the panther alone!
Pete

Hartford, WI

#6 Nov 17, 2008
Was walking my dog near my home in Orange City and came across several tracks that belonged to a Puma. No doubt it was a large cat. They were twice as wide as my German Shepherd and she weighs 90lbs. Would really love to see it!
natasha drazich

Mulberry, FL

#7 Jan 14, 2009
I was picking up my dad from the Orlando airport last night (1/13/09) and saw a huge cat crossing 528 a few miles west of 520. It was about 11:30 at night. I just wanted to tell somebody because it was so cool. Apparently panther sightings in Central Florida are rare.
Amy Ohlinger

Tampa, FL

#8 Mar 16, 2009
I saw a panther on my way to work this morning at about 7:30am 3/16/09. I am sure it was a panther, I have worked with dogs all my life and this cat was almost as big as a mastiff, with a long,long tail. It crossed the road right in front of my car. About 100 yards up the road there was a wild turkey on the side of the road. He could have stalking some breakfast??
The road I was on was Mustang blvd about 1 mile from Lecanto hwy (491) in Beverly Hills, Citrus county. This is a fairly busy road.
I also thought this sighting should be reported. I looked at all the Florida panther web sites and they just said consider yourself lucky to see one and don't report it.

Since: Mar 09

United States

#9 Mar 18, 2009
Amy Ohlinger wrote:
I saw a panther on my way to work this morning at about 7:30am 3/16/09. I am sure it was a panther, I have worked with dogs all my life and this cat was almost as big as a mastiff, with a long,long tail. It crossed the road right in front of my car. About 100 yards up the road there was a wild turkey on the side of the road. He could have stalking some breakfast??
The road I was on was Mustang blvd about 1 mile from Lecanto hwy (491) in Beverly Hills, Citrus county. This is a fairly busy road.
I also thought this sighting should be reported. I looked at all the Florida panther web sites and they just said consider yourself lucky to see one and don't report it.
**********

I see one about once a month behind my home but then I back up to a nature preserve and see all type of wildlife an a lot of bobcats and wild turkey.. When I see a Panther I call A friens at Florida Fish and Wildlife as they want to know how many we have left.. He told me that about a 100 are left and they don't go hunt except to put a radio device on them..I was lucky enough to see one stalk a Turkey about a month back .. Yep,it got lunch ..

{PLEASE DON'T CALL THE COPS THEY WILL SHOOT IT I saw then kill a bear about 3 months back because it was close to Walmart}
James

Polk City, FL

#10 Jun 6, 2009
Yes, I have been to the state park on the corner of 520 and Beeline (528) huge area of woods and have sited a panther out there. I grew up by Moss Park and have seen tracks. Buddies of mine growing up had seen one out about growing up too. Lots of area for them out that way.
Hollis Hines

Wildwood, FL

#11 Jul 22, 2009
natasha drazich wrote:
I was picking up my dad from the Orlando airport last night (1/13/09) and saw a huge cat crossing 528 a few miles west of 520. It was about 11:30 at night. I just wanted to tell somebody because it was so cool. Apparently panther sightings in Central Florida are rare.
I was driving south on 528 on 7/21/09. It was about 6:00 P.M. when I was driving past Port Canavaral my wife spotted a panther right beside the highway directly across from the port coming out of the protected wetlands. I immediately turned the car around to try to get a look for myself, but it was already gone! My hope is if anyone elese who reads this and has seen this panther they will also write about it.
Barbara L

Bradenton, FL

#12 Jul 28, 2009
I'm in Citrus Springs. I saw huge tracks, and asked the local landscape guru, he said he stood 20 feet from one the other night, he is also in Citrus Springs. He called wildlife dept. and was told there is a " family" of them living off of Deltona Blvd. I have a yorkie, who has a fenced yard- who is NOT allowed out anymore. Any one else see one ?
Amy Ohlinger wrote:
I saw a panther on my way to work this morning at about 7:30am 3/16/09. I am sure it was a panther, I have worked with dogs all my life and this cat was almost as big as a mastiff, with a long,long tail. It crossed the road right in front of my car. About 100 yards up the road there was a wild turkey on the side of the road. He could have stalking some breakfast??
The road I was on was Mustang blvd about 1 mile from Lecanto hwy (491) in Beverly Hills, Citrus county. This is a fairly busy road.
I also thought this sighting should be reported. I looked at all the Florida panther web sites and they just said consider yourself lucky to see one and don't report it.
Jan

Lady Lake, FL

#13 Aug 19, 2009
Lecanto - Have seen a panter, have 3 raccoons, a Pileated woodpecker and last night either a small wolf or ferrel dog - looked like about to be 45 lbs on 8/18/09
Kristen Rodgers

Tampa, FL

#14 Sep 22, 2009
Awoke to the sound of a (female?) panther crying @ 3:30 a.m. this morning in the front yard of my Nokomis, Fl home. This crying or wailing persisted for about 1.5 hrs. as the cat paced the nearby area.
Lou

AOL

#15 Oct 4, 2009
Barbara L wrote:
I'm in Citrus Springs. I saw huge tracks, and asked the local landscape guru, he said he stood 20 feet from one the other night, he is also in Citrus Springs. He called wildlife dept. and was told there is a " family" of them living off of Deltona Blvd. I have a yorkie, who has a fenced yard- who is NOT allowed out anymore. Any one else see one ?
<quoted text>
I live in Pine Ride very close to the area you are talking about. Found several huge paw prints ( about 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 )inches that i believe are panther prints right next to my house
Russell Kivett

AOL

#16 Oct 21, 2009
While traveling to Haulover canal in Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge in 2003, a friend and I took the road that Black Pt. Wildlife drive is on. Both my friend and I were in the bussines of mitigation and had seen plenty of bobcats out in the field. A small to medium sized cat crossed the road right in front of us, this was no bobcat; it's tail was nearly the lenth of the body. I reported the sighting to the park service and found out that the park bioligist and two other poeple reported sightings in the same area s. of Haulover canal.(russellkivett@aol.com)
Jim Mildren

United States

#17 Nov 17, 2009
I was visiting Merritt island November 14 for a launch. While sitting in my car, I watched a Puma slink along the railroad tracks into KSC. I also saw a wild boar, one of the Puma's prey.
A L R

Gainesville, FL

#18 Feb 14, 2010
We are in Brooksville and live on about 60 wooded acres. We've seen bobcats, raccoons, pigs and lots of deer, but we had our first panther sighting this morning! It growled at one of my kids who was out walking in the woods - freaked him out pretty good!
Jim Covington

United States

#19 Feb 17, 2010
Wed, February 17th 2010, 6:45 a.m. in Palm Coast, I was traveling N. on Sesame Blvd. in Palm Coast when a panther ran in front of my vehicle crossing the road . I wasn't sure if it was a panther or not, as I thought they were darker in color, but after viewing the video that follows.. < http://www.winknews.com/news/local/46098357.h... ; of a sighting from last summer, I am positive that it was a panther. It was as large as our full grown dalmation we once had.
yeah

United States

#20 Feb 17, 2010
tony wrote:
My wife saw a panther at anderson park while at the dog park sunday.There were two other witnesses.this was at lake tarpon.
i seen it
D and L - Wesley Chapel

Tampa, FL

#21 Mar 22, 2010
We have spotted two Florida Panthers inour backyard. One very large the other a bit smaller in Wesley Chapel off of County Line Road. This is a residential area but there is quite a bit of wildlife conservation behind us. They are beautiful majestic animals and I pray they will stay healthy and alive.

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