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Rare Resident-Florida Panther
  • There are only 30 to 50 panthers alive in the wild - our most endangered species in Florida
  • Litters are one to four kittens and they are ready to live on their own at two years of age
  • Favorite foods: white-tailed deer, wild hog, raccoons, armadillos, and cotton-tailed rabbits

The Florida panther is an endangered species.  For this mural wildlife painter Terry Smith chose a mother looking for her kitten.  Our big cats may need their nine lives because many are killed on the road and others are losers in their fight over habitat.  These big cats reached seven-foot lengths weigh 150 pounds.  It is also the only big cat that purrs. 

Male panthers roam over 200 square miles, females 100.  Scientists believe the recently noticed crook in their tails and cowlick in the middle of their back are caused by inbreeding as both panther numbers in their territory have diminished. 

The live to 18 years in some cases, the their average lifespan is about 10 - 12 years.  Mostly residents of hardwood hammocks, their favorite food is white-tailed deer and wild hog.  But they also eat smaller animals, including raccoons, armadillos, cotton-tailed rabbits, and an occasional alligator. 

In south Florida the state built 40 underpasses on interstate 75 and State Road 29 to allow the panthers to cross the road safely.  Radio collars are worn by many panthers to allow wildlife officers to monitor them. 

Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio Date
Terry Smith Edwin Rivera Drafting Service 48 feet wide x 15 feet tall Robert E. Bendl in memory of his daughter Marjorie V. Bendl Find the panther cub and many other items N/A December 1998

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