Monday, September 26, 2011


This is from the March 2011 newsletter (pdf) of Friends of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in south Florida.  The caption and photo are not altered.  The animal was observed in an area where Florida panthers are actually known to exist, so it's gotta be one, right?  No!  Frustrated conservation professionals are constantly fielding "sightings" from an out-of-touch public that can't tell a cat from a dog.  Large house cats resemble jaguarundis far more than yellow labs look like panthers, and if we're going to make claims about jaguarundis, we're going to have solid evidence.  So far we don't. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and so far all we have for the jaguarundi in the Southeast are anecdotal reports and questionable photos.


  1. This is really good..Is that a tongue hanging out of its mouth?

  2. Sure looks like it. Are you saying cats don't do that? Other than the Fakahatchee Strand setting, nothing about this photo says "panther." This would be funny if it weren't so sad.

  3. Actually that is not the animal's tongue. That is a piece of meat from a carcass not far from where that picture was taken. (I know because I was there. In fact I was next to the man who took this picture.) That might explain why the shape of its head is un-pantherlike, if indeed it is a panther. Also, if you zoom in, you might notice the black tip on its tail, which is also characteristic of a panther. I'm not saying that I'm 100% certain that it is a panther.... but its not clearly a yellow lab...