The Florida Panther: Yes, it exists

By: Giselle Perez

Florida is home to many natural wonders – from the crystal-clear waters of the Keys to the ancient forts of St. Augustine, the state truly holds a multitude of hidden gems. Unfortunately, however, many of these jewels are in grave danger, and might not be here for the next generation to see and enjoy. One of these endangered treasures isn’t a literal precious stone, but a feline.

The Florida Panther is one of the most endangered species in the world. This cat, native to Florida, has a wild population barely reaching the 200’s. Facing extreme habitat loss, as well as road collisions, it is unlikely their numbers will rebound without much help from the very humans that live among them. The Florida Panther was chosen as Florida’s state animal and we should treat them accordingly, not by annihilating them. Luckily, there are many steps one can take to make sure these lovely creatures are around for our posterity to marvel at. One of them is to inform others about the importance of the panther: do school projects on them, join discussions, and tell your friends and family why the Florida Panther matters. Show your support by donating to the conservation cause for the panther or by purchasing a “Protect the Florida Panther” license plate if you are a Florida resident. It’s as the saying goes: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. If you don’t see anything being done in your neighborhood to conserve this key species, gather people who feel the same and set out to preserve them yourselves through community conservation work. This work doesn’t have to be complicated: it can take the simple form of liter pick-up or recycling projects – anything helps. Together, we can save this beautiful animal, one small step at a time.

For more Florida Panther facts, visit https://bigcatrescue.org.




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