LEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Phil Hendra was at his father’s East Fort Myers house on March 18 when he saw this Florida panther on the porch.
Hendra snapped the photo of the endangered cat. The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute shared the photo Tuesday. The institute is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
East Fort Myers is in Lee County, south of the Orange River.
“(The panther) stayed for about 20 minutes and laid down for a bit,” Hendra said. “It looked at us inside the window then slowly walked away, and we have not seen it since. My parents have lived here since 1988 and they may have seen a younger panther about two years ago, but nothing compares to this once in a lifetime experience.”
FWC clarified this panther was not spotted in Pinellas County, as some social media posts indicated.