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FWC reminds residents in panther country to take steps to protect small livestock

News Release

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459; Diane Hirth, 850-251-2130

Because of recent incidents of Florida panthers taking livestock and pets in Golden Gates Estates in Collier County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is advising residents in the area to take the necessary precautions to properly shelter animals such as goats, sheep, calves, pigs, donkeys and chickens.

“The best way for people to protect small livestock is to keep them in a secure fenced enclosure with a roof, especially at night,” said FWC panther team leader Darrell Land. “We encourage people who live in panther country to take the necessary steps to protect their animals from being taken by a panther or other predators such as bears, bobcats and coyotes.”

Similar safety measures should be taken to protect pets like dogs and cats by keeping them indoors at night or in an outdoor panther-proof pen.

The FWC is investigating and monitoring depredations on multiple miniature horses. Biologists have documented that panthers have killed two miniature horses and a pony in recent weeks.

People can learn more about living in panther country from the brochure, A guide to living with Florida Panthers.  This resource reminds people, for instance, not to feed deer or other wildlife around their homes since that can attract panthers looking for prey.

People who have problems or concerns about panthers should call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone. To report a panther sighting to the FWC, go to MyFWC.com/PantherSightings.

Additional information about Florida panthers is available at MyFWC.com/Panther.

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