The Florida panther is a subspecies of cougar. It is typically found in the swamps, hardwood hammocks, and pinelands of southern Florida. The panther is also the state animal of Florida. Florida panther is highly endangered as there are no more than 160 animals remaining in the wild. IUCN listed it as a critically endangered species in the year 2008 but after that the animal was removed from the list.
Florida Panther Facts
- Like cougar, Florida panthers have tan coat and blue eyes. At birth they got some spots on their body but spots fade away as the panther grows to an adult.
- The tip of the eats and tail is black while the underpart of the body is creamy white.
- Florida panthers do not roar rather they produce range of different sounds such as whistles, hisses, purrs, chirps, and
- Adult panthers weigh up to 29–45.5 kg (64–100 lb) but it can attain a maximum weight of 5–72 kg (100–159 lb).
- The total body length of a Florida panther averages 1.8 to 2.2 m (5.9 to 7.2 ft) and it is 60–70 cm (24–28 in) tall.
- Males are slightly larger than females. One of the reasons might be that males reach adulthood earlier than the females.
Feeding Ecology & Diet
- Florida panthers are carnivores and they mostly prey on mice, waterfowl, and hares. They also eat large-sized mammals including white-tailed deer, American alligator, wild boar, and storks.
- Deer are nocturnal animals and thus they escape many potential predators who hunt mainly at daylight. However bad news for deer is that Florida panthers are also nocturnal hunters which make the former vulnerable to the latter.
- Female panthers build dens in the dense scrub where it gives birth to live young. However the productivity of females primarily relies not only on the behavior of animals but also on the availability of food.
- Kittens stay in the den for about 45 – 60 days. At this stage kittens spend most of the time with mother.
- The mother will feed kittens in the first 14 – 21 days. After this, the feeding period is over and mother is now going to teach her cubs to hunt and search for food. Young cubs remain stick to their mother all this time.
- At 2-month age young panthers may be able to hunt with their mother. However once they come of age (2 years) they are fully independent.