Florida Panthers are listed on the Endangered Species list, but this doesn’t prevent deaths outside hunting. Human encroachment on their environment as well as everyday human behavior is still having a huge impact on the species.
Big cats like mountain lions and pumas, the Florida panther, are unique to the Americas and should be treated with greater respect by the human population that lives this side of the world. The Florida panther is a unique subspecies, and their numbers are tragically low. That means the gene pool is limited and they’re now facing threat from genetic defect as well as environmental dangers and human interventions. That’s not to say that motorists target the animals, they don’t have to. Loss of habitat is having the biggest impact that’s forcing encounters that lead to tragedy all around. The fewer panthers, the fewer cubs and the fewer animals in subsequent generations.
People tend to fear these animals, and we’ve seen the odd article about a child being taken. Generally speaking, unless cornered, or out of their element, the panthers/lions do not like human contact and will avoid it all cost. However, hikers and bikers and wilderness seekers alike are going into their habitat and taking risks. Their neglect and lack of common sense leads to the euthanasia of many cats every year. If wilderness seekers want a wilderness to seek, then they’re going to have educate themselves and do better. Policies and notions that support wild animals as ‘maneaters’ or ‘killers’ apply human reasoning and law to non-humans who haven’t signed on for such agreements. Sounds silly now, doesn’t it? We as humans do not have the right to explore the wilds unharmed by the animals that live there. The laws we establish for human behavior do not extend to animals. These cats are behaving exactly as they should in the wild. It’s up to the human going into that environment to protect themselves with respect to the environment.
Read more about these beautiful cats here: Sierra Club Florida News: Sierra Club Statement on Record Breaking Florida Panther Deaths.
And, explore the rest of the site for other animals in danger of extinction. Education can save lives, four or two-legged.