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.