IMMOKALEE, FL. -- On April 12, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured a Florida panther that has been frequenting a neighborhood near Immokalee in Collier County.
Residents in Farm Worker’s Village reported frequent sightings of panthers in close proximity to their homes and that several pets had gone missing. Panther biologists visited the site and confirmed panther activity in the area. They also found evidence that small animals in the neighborhood including pets had been preyed upon by a panther.
Biologists monitored the situation by installing trail cameras and confirmed the presence of at least two panthers. The FWC and USFWS staff made numerous site visits and held multiple meetings at the Village to provide information about steps residents can take to reduce risk and to deter the panther from lingering in the area. The FWC and USFWS are working with the property manager to address overgrown vegetation in and around the neighborhood.
On Tuesday, April 12, biologists set traps and successfully captured a young male panther they were targeting. This panther was the one documented most frequently on the trail cameras. The panther will be initially held for a health exam. Once it is confirmed the panther is healthy, the plan is to return it to the wild in a more remote location.