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Monday, 11 April 2016 12:36

An east Fort Myers household was caught by surprise on March 18 when a Florida panther was caught lounging on their front porch

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An east Fort Myers household was caught by surprise on March 18 when a Florida panther was caught lounging on their front porch.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission posted a photo on Facebook of the endangered cat taken by Phil Hendra at his father’s home.

The Naples Daily News reported the family was “shocked and amazed” when Hendra’s son, Phillip Jr., pointed out a “funny dog” outside.

Florida Panthers once prowled and flourished in woodlands throughout the Southeast. When European settlers first arrived in the 1600's the clear cutting, building, woods clearing and other human activities that destroy, degrade and fragment habitat began and the fear and misconceptions that led to panther persecution took root. Today the panther is recognized as Florida's official state animal but it is one of the most endangered mammals on earth.

Current numbers remaining in the wild in South Florida are estimated at only 100-180 adults and subadults and is the only known breeding population.

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