According to the FWC, there have been nine Panther reports in Duval County as of May 2020, but none of them have been verified.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Residents of the Riverpoint neighborhood of Jacksonville claim to have seen a panther in their backyard.
A neighbor reported it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission but had no pictures. Anna Witten and her husband love nature and they are very familiar with wildlife.
At around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Witten believes he has seen a panther.
“I let my dogs go back to the bathroom like we do every day, and my male dog stormed the fence. He didn’t bark, but I can tell he was looking at something, “said Witten.
Then she noticed a large cat near her pond, about 20 meters from her quarterdeck.
Witten says the big cat is brown with a long dark tail and twice the size of its cocker spaniel.
“We have seen wildlife there before. We set up a trail camera. We saw coyotes, bobcats and deer. But this cat was definitely not like any other as we saw it in pictures, “said Witten.
Another resident of the area says he has spotted a panther before. He posted a picture on the Nextdoor app.
According to the FWC, there have been nine panther reports in Duval County as of May 2020, but none of them have been verified.
“Obviously we have panthers here in Florida. While it would be rare to have a Florida panther in the Jacksonville area, we got them verified in Georgia so it wouldn’t be impossible to have them in the area, “said Carli Segelson, FWC spokeswoman.
According to Segelson, panthers can travel far and wide in their territory, and like any wild animal, there is a way to reduce conflict with animals, according to Segelson. It starts with your garden.
“If you have a lot of trash or food or something that could attract smaller animals, you may also attract larger animals like panthers or coyotes,” Segelson said.
Segelson also mentioned if you know there is a wild animal nearby that could be cause for concern. Be sure to keep an eye on your pet and not leave them unattended.