Rare panther sighting in Central Florida

Rare panther sighting in Central Florida

There are 102 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.


Winter Haven, FL

#63 Dec 31, 2011
Saw a Big Cat with a long tail crossing East on Croft Ave near Steven Street in Hernando, Fl on this past Christmas night (12/25/2011) at 6:30 pm...the animal was the size of a coyote and about 4 feet long, tawny grey in color.

Orlando, FL

#64 Feb 21, 2012
1999-2012, there have been 12 sightings from Cape Canaveral to Cocoa Beach.
Carolyn G

Boiling Springs, SC

#65 Feb 29, 2012
I lived in FL in the 50s ( yes, i'm very old) and it was a common occurrence to see panthers. One walked right into the house one night right into my mother's bedroom. Her screams scared it away. We lived in Flagler County on A1A.

Leesburg, FL

#66 May 26, 2012
Hi i live in Yalaha, florida. Last year i was chatting with my husband on phone and i had a young Panter come up my service road from our rv storage units in back.. All i had to say my back yard a week before it rain smeld like a zoo. Told my husband sometime must had die or there spaying something. Then in my drive way that night he just walks on by. Hello huge cat i told him is walking he like get into house.. So wednesday 5/23/2012 I had a huge cat walk back near my porch i could hear him walking in the grass. my neighbors lights came on and there was a huge i mean huge cat stop looked and ran.. And i ran right back into my house and lock up my doors.. I mean Huge 3 times bigger then last years cat. I think this one was carring, the belly was really big. so be careful. you never know what is out there in the dark.

Port Charlotte, FL

#68 May 30, 2012
Saw one yesterday at 7:30 a.m. in North Port off Chamberlin and Hillsborough. Didn't realize what it was until it was almost back in the woods. Didn't get a picture, but it's burned in my memory and pretty positive it was a panther. Definitely not a bobcat and way too huge for a house cat.
Jennifer layne

Zephyrhills, FL

#69 Jul 25, 2012
I spotted a panther on 54 in Zephyrhills. He was running out of a swamp area that's heavily wooded. At first I thought it was a very large dog and then I saw its cat like features. It ran out in frnt of my vehicle and I had to swerve tO avoid it.

Keystone Heights, FL

#70 Oct 2, 2012
EWS wrote:
I live in Inverness (citrus cty) my neighbor called me about a month ago to tell me he saw a panther in his backyard, I dismissed his claim as a Bobcat as we see them frequently. But, I now believe him as I have an infrared scouting camera set up to monitor the deer and hog populations in the woods behind my house and sure enough got a picture of the panther last week!!!!
would love to see our pictures
Rick the Obvious

Lake Worth, FL

#71 Jan 10, 2013
My disabled USAF Veteran/Stroke victim loves wild life.

Picture this; She walkes out to the end of the yard to get the mail. We live on the edge of a field w/tall grass. It's quiet early morning. She did not get the mail yesterday.I am out of town working and could not get mail.

Suddenly (within 5 seconds),a 235lb. full grown 7ft. male panther rushes from the scrub at 35 mph.
Tackles wife instantly, choking her to death. He drags her into the nearby field, pauses,till he can drag her to the tree.

She was just a little dear to the panther.
Pretty little killer kitty...
Kevin G north port

Grosse Pointe, MI

#72 Jan 26, 2013
My wife had a rare expeirience yesterday in north port fl. We live on Garcia st. off of north salford, we have a screened tent in our side yard cause we don't smoke in the house, she was sitting in the tent around 2:00 pm playing a game on her iPhone when she said she heard something behind my boat she looked and saw what she thought were a big dogs feet and legs then the head came into view from behind the boat and she realized it was not a dog but a very large cat needless to say she was very scared and did not know what to do and froze solid, they locked eyes for a minute and then it started to walk back into the vacant lots next to our property and headed towards the canal, that's when she got up and ran into the house. Her being from Philadelphia all of her live had never sceen such a big cat before, when she told me she said she saw a bobcat and told me the size of it ( head about 4 feet from the ground beige with gray under tones , very muscular and a long swooping tail ) I said that's no bobcat that was a panther- cougar I showed her some pictures from google and she said that's what it was. She's very lucky , cause she was only about 15 ft from it and very rare to see one mid afternoon. And of course she was to frightened to think to take video or a picture, I'm actually kind of gellous of her.

Palm Coast, FL

#73 Feb 9, 2013
We live in L section of Palm Coast. Multiple sightings. One in particular walks down our street just about once a week in the evenings at same time. 3 neighbors have seen it multiple times. We also have a lot of bobcats. And 2 streets over folks have seen one lying in their yard several times. I saw one on creek edge that runs across Matanzas Parkway 1 evening. They aren't as rare anymore.

Since: Feb 12

Location hidden

#74 Feb 11, 2013
i grew up in sumter county we have had panthers for years

Wilkes Barre, PA

#76 Apr 3, 2013
I've seen a black panther in universal studios @ night when I worked in the Jurassic Park area. I was working in an sea called river and I was about15 to 20' above the walkway and bushes when I spotted something down low coming across my eye. I looked down the it stopped and looked up. We were eye to eye. I s stomped and yell get outbid here and it ran into the bushes.

Lady Lake, FL

#77 Apr 7, 2013
my son saw one yesterday on our property, north lake county near seminole springs forest.
Jason W

Leesburg, VA

#78 Apr 19, 2013
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 saw a panter cross Falkenburg Road in the Brandon area today. It was no doubt a Florida panther, as I have seen them up close in the past when studying biology.
Ron C

Oldsmar, FL

#80 Apr 23, 2013
I live in a small housing development in Riverview Florida. Our home backs up to a heavily wooded preserve. Several months ago we had a heavy rain which filled the wetlands to a depth of several feet. I saw both a full grown female deer and what appeared to be a hybrid wolf. Very exciting. Both sightings involved more than one person.

The deer crossed my back yard at dusk very calmly in view of about 20 guests.

The wolf stood looking at me and a neighbor from a distance of about 175 feet.

Ashburn, VA

#81 May 10, 2013
We live just west of 95 in Ormond Beach and my son says he saw a panther run across the road in front of him. He said it looked like it weighed about 40lbs. It was definitely a panther. We live right across from tiger bay on 40. It's exciting to know there is one in our vicinity.

Lakeland, FL

#82 May 29, 2013
My family member lives near Merritt Island National Wildlife Preserve where he fishes routinely. He clearly saw a panther cross the road in front of him on May 20. The visitor's center staff seemed uninterested when we tried to report it. The cat was estimated to be about 100 pounds with 2 ft. long tail. We saw wild pigs very near that same spot the same week.
Sandy and Brenda Pellerin

Clermont, FL

#83 Jun 19, 2013
We live in Lake County, Florida. Were on our way home to Clermont and Minneola driving south on hwy 561 through Astatula. Time was 8:31 pm on Thursday, 6/13/13. Well, right before crossing hwy 455 (the very back side of Howey) we saw a black panther cross right in front of us! Brenda said, is that a... and I said YES a black panther! Look at it!! Check out the length of the tail! The cat was in "hunt" mode as it crossed right in front of us! The length of the cat was stretched out, hunting low to the ground as if it was after something and looked to be about 6' all stretched out like it was. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!
Donna Phelps

Detroit, MI

#84 Aug 5, 2013
Are there really no recent sightings of Florida Panthers in Sarasota county? Or are people just not posting sightings any more since the wildlife commission no longer cares? Just wondering as my mom and I just saw a large one walking along the scrub line near our home in Sarasota. This was Saturday afternoon around 5pm August 3. Amazing special experience!

Winter Haven, FL

#86 Aug 12, 2013
On Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 we saw a mom and two young (not spotted) ones at around 7 pm while walking our chocolate lab in Cypress Creek Village, Winter Haven. The mom came out of the treeline followed by the bouncing youngsters. They went past a small pond, then back into the trees. Was a thrill to see them!

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Ormond Beach Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Tammy Betz (Feb '17) 6 hr Hate bikers 3
News Volusia beachside redevelopment committee brain... 6 hr Joe 2
kevin spacey ???? Wed Joe 1
Licensed Practical Nurse at Good Samaritan Society Nov 21 IvanPutsky 1
Pure Romance is LOVE Nov 14 PureRomance 1
News Desert Inn owner Dennis Devlin pleads guilty to... (Apr '11) Nov 13 Joe 20
daytona beach crime (Mar '16) Nov 13 Joe 10

Ormond Beach Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Ormond Beach Mortgages