Florida is home to one of the most diverse wildlife populations in the US. Given the state’s land ranges from beaches, to swamps, to forests, to open grasslands, there’s plenty of resources available for countless creatures, and we get to see 3 of them in this video captured on some home security cameras.
Two are pretty common throughout the rest of the country: Whitetail deer and black bear.
While northern areas tend to see more deer, the Sunshine State is home to around 700,000 of the most hunted animal in the country. Florida whitetail typically weigh around 115 pounds, which is much smaller than in northern states (Pennsylvania whitetail average around 140 pounds).
Black bear are present in around 40 of the 50 states, but are more concentrated in the northwestern and northeastern parts of the country, with Alaska having the largest population. It’s estimated that Florida is home to around 4,000.
But without question, the rarest of the animals we see in this video is the Florida panther. Currently, there are around 200 panthers roaming the southernmost parts of Florida, and although that number seems quite small, it’s up drastically from where it was in the 1970s.
While Florida is one of the most populous states today, that was far from the case historically. In 1940, less than 2 million people lived in the state. By 1960 the population increased to 5 million, which doubled by the time 1980 rolled around (my personal hypothesis on why this happened was improvements in air conditioning, but I have yet to dive into the data. Let’s call it a strong hunch.)
While the state’s economy certainly benefited from the increased number of people, many native species were forced out of their habitats as communities popped up in formerly undeveloped land.
The panther took the brunt of this change in landscape, as each breeding unit (one male and two to five females) requires around 200 square miles to roam.
While development certainly didn’t help the panther, the National Wildlife Foundation blames increased hunting pressure as the main factor for population decline. Panther population dropped to just 20-30 wildcats in the 1970’s, at which point scientists knew they had to act fast to avoid the species going extinct.
It was listed as an endangered species in 1967 but it wasn’t until the 1990s that any real gains were made in increasing their numbers. 8 female pumas were brought in from Texas in hopes of increasing reproductive odds for the males in the area, as well as introducing genetic diversity of the species, who were experiencing serious repercussions from inbreeding.
According to Ohio State University, five of the pumas brought in had at least 20 offspring, which served as the boon for the panther they were hoping for. While the wildcat still has long ways to go in establishing a truly stable population, the experiment has proved to be a success.
Well, one of these 200 cats found itself in one of the craziest backyard wildlife scenarios we’ve seen in south Florida.
Two deer were minding their own business, making their way across the yard when they spotted a black bear by the tree line. Naturally, they were immediately put on high alert, as we all know what a bear is capable of if it gets its paws on a deer.
Fortunately for them, the bear didn’t seem to be in a hunting mood and left the deer alone to go about their business, but what neither the deer nor bear knew was a panther was laying low behind the house, waiting for just the right moment to strike.
The two deer split up when the bear suddenly began running off and the fawn happened to run straight at the panther, who immediately crouched down and waited for the opportunity to pounce.
The deer seemingly sensed some danger and began moving back toward the other side of the house. The panther realized this wasn’t going to be as easy as it hoped and decided to take a chance at running the fawn down.
Both animals take off in a dead sprint, the panther showing impressive power and the deer impressive quickness as it fleas for its life. They tear through the yard and away into the distance, where we unfortunately don’t see how the story ends.
If I was a betting man, I’d say the panther came out on top. Between its speed, strength, and killer instinct, it just makes sense that it wasn’t going to put all that effort in and come up empty.
What do you think? Did the deer get away or did the panther get itself a meal?
Panther Takes Out House Cat
Naturally, as more of these large predator cats begin roaming the southern parts of Florida, there’s going to be an increase in encounters with humans, livestock, and pets. One ranch in the heartland of panther territory estimates they lose between 5 and 7% of their calf crop annually due to predation.
It also means that quite a few pets may go missing, like we see in this video out of South Florida.
A security camera captured a tough to watch scene when a panther locked eyes on a house cat and took advantage of the opportunity, pouncing on the cat and pining it down on the driveway before locking jaws on its head and carrying it away to eat in peace.
A rough scene for sure and it shows why some people don’t want any further growth of the native species, but it’s hard to argue against saving a creature that has long called the Florida swamps home and is the state’s official animal.
If you’re in South Florida, you may want to keep your cats inside…
Golfers Watch A Sneaky Bobcat Snag A Rabbit Right On The Course
There golf course hazards are getting deadly…
Bobcats are known to roam just about everywhere in the US.
Being the most populous wild cat in North America, they live in a multitude of habitats that range from swamp lands to mountain ranges to suburban neighborhoods.
They are also ferocious hunters, taking out tons of creatures like rattlesnakes, baby alligators, ducks, and any number of small game animals.
While most bobcats tend to remain hidden in brush or at least the cover of night, sometimes we get a glimpse of how they operate in broad daylight, like this video taken on a golf course.
The bobcat is seen creeping on the fairway and scoping out a few rabbits that were hanging out off to the side. The bobcat starts approaching them cautiously, getting closer with small bounds and pauses, very similar to the gait of rabbits themselves, a crazy cool adaptation that allowed it to get within striking range without alerting the unsuspecting rabbit.
Once the bobcat got in range it was goodnight for the bunny, who barely even reacted before it was lights out and all over.
Talk about a fun day on the course with the boys though.
Get out in the sun, crush a few cold ones, smoke a cigar, and see a bobcat hunting up close and personal.
Hell of a Saturday if you ask me…
Bobcat Launches Surprise Attack On Some Ducks On The Golf Course
Bobcats are pretty incredible animals.
It is amazing to watch them hunt, and see firsthand, how quickly they can adapt to the environment when they find prey to go after. Using the land to their advantage, they sneak up and attack in a flash.
It’s pretty cool to witness, and definitely not something that everyone gets to see.
Especially, on the gold course…
TMZ says the video took place in Arizona and golfers playing a round noticed the bobcat in the sand trap. They quickly realized what the cat was up to, using the sharp hills as a vantage point. A flock of ducks were eating away, clearly unaware of what was coming.
A golfer in the video commented.
“Look at this… they don’t even know he’s there.”
The bobcat creeps around the sand looking for the perfect place to attack from.
In a split second, the cat tops the hill and somehow finds a new gear as it leaps and gets its claws into one of the ducks.
The golfers then make their way towards the Bobcat as it comes clearer into view, finishing off its kill and then takes off with its dinner to go.
One of the golfers has an all-time quote when talking to an animal. In the words of Stephen A. Smith…
“You a baaad man, that’s a bad man”
He is right though, you can’t help but agree as the bobcat runs out of view. That is indeed a bad, bad man.