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Panther Attack Kills Horse in Florida

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  • #41
    We have them here too - a few years ago, one of the elementary schools was on "lock down" due to a sighting.
    I don't know if it's true or not but I "heard" that a foal in Granite Falls was killed by a Mountain Lion.
    It's been posted on the trail now and then about sightings.
    The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
    H. Cate

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    • #42
      Well years ago- In the late 1960s or early 1970s my late husband was driving home from LSP at Angloa, LA where he worked. It was winter so woods were pretty bare and it got dark early. He swore that a "panther" ran across the desolate highway in front of him. The road runs through some very sparsely populated parts of the Tunica Hills. He said it was a large cat with a very long tail much larger than a bobcat and that it was sort of a grayish tan in his headlights. He was born and reared in that parish and hunted all his life- mostly squirrels and raccoons. But he had seen bobcats up close-- including one the coon hounds had treed that jumped down on his head when he was a boy (he was wearing a heavy wool hat but still got scratched) as it made a break for it.

      Anyway, one night in the mid-1980s we were traveling very early in the morning along that same road before dawn and we both saw a panther- no mistake about it. It was a large grayish-tan cat with a tail that looked longer than itself. It cleared the acual road in two leaps-- right in front of us. We watched it bound into the woods on the other side of the road.

      A friend of ours who was the local waildlife agent said the "official" stand was there were not any panthers in Louisiana- but he and other agents really believed there were. Some had even seen them for themselves. But the quesion is whether these are escaped captive panthers, or native panthers. I guess we won't know unless one gets killed and they can examine the DNA. I have also heard of sightings in Southwest Mississippi counties that border West Feliciana Parish, which southeast in Louisiana.

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      • #43
        the official stand is there is not a reproducing wild population. Escaped pets, yes. black panthers, no.

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        • #44
          I met a really considerate "puddy tat" several years ago: I was walking my small dog back into town from a prairie trail, & there's a marsh with a bridge over it, about 30' long. My dog was ahead of me, ready to step onto the bridge, & he perked up & slowed, looking at the other side of the bridge. There, I saw the tawny head of a big ol' puddy tat, looking at us with yellow puddy eyes. I knew that I was defenseless but for the grace of God, & so met his eyes with the unspoken message, "I don't think you should attack me, & you're a lovely puddy!" His decision was to exit stage right, thank God! I couldn't believe how adroit he was at disappearing via an alternate route, because we were right near town. He obviously had been about to step onto the bridge, & not for the first time use the human-built walks to get back out to the grasslands. There's my Happy New Year Puddy Story.

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          • #45
            Cool story! I have one almost as exciting. Many years ago we started loosing our barn cats to coyotes. So in a typical teen-age fashion, my friend and I decided to go coyote hunting. We had a good dog to help us track, a .32 Special rifle and away we went.

            We came upon a trail leading into an old horizontal mine shaft. The tracks were unrecognizable but we were SURE the coyotes were in there. However when we started into the mine shaft our dog yelped, took off like a shot, jumped into the back of the pickup and wouldn't come out. That should have been a clue, but we were teen-agers, need I say more.

            So into the shaft we go, I turn on the flashlight, and right there, maybe 20 feet in front of us, crouched behind a large rock is a BIG Cougar. The poor guy had his ears stuck straight out to the sides and a very terrified look on his face. He was doing his best to hide from us. We slowly backed out of the shaft, hearts pounding and left kitty alone.

            A couple of weeks later I rode a horse right under the same cat as he lay sunning on a cliff. We were just walking along when something made me look up and there he was. I urged my horse into a trot and got out of there!

            If ever a cat had the opportunity to attack, it was that one, but he was around our place for years and never caused a problem. In those days nobody hunted them because they were so few and didn't cause problems.
            Patty
            www.rivervalefarm.com
            Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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            • #46
              Originally posted by hackinaround View Post

              The horses most certainly were on early morning or all night turn out most of the year because of the heat. Mosquitoes were much much more a threat to any horses/humans in SW FL then a panther.
              Having grown up in Florida, I grew completely with this quote.

              I lived there age 6-20...never saw a panther despite lots of time out in the brush. Plenty of bears, plenty of gators, plenty of snakes, plenty of fire ants, plenty of roaches, plenty of lizards, plenty of...etc. but no panthers. What a fluke!

              The comment about the ax-EEK! Reminds me of the "rainbow people" legend in Central Fl...anybody else know that one?

              So, Mike, don't let this story keep you from La Florida.
              True Bearing Equestrian
              St. Helena Island, SC

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              • #47
                Originally posted by StGermain View Post
                Dept. of Natural Resources told her there was no way in Middle Tennessee, but she knew what she saw.
                I have had two up-close-and-personal mountain lion encounters in southern middle TN, so I believe you!

                The first happened when I was really young - 5 or 6. My mom had my sister and I on the four-wheeler with her, and we were crossing a very rocky/hilly wooded area across our back cow pasture. She topped a hill and almost ran head-first into the mountain lion! Mom slammed into reverse and got the heck out of dodge while the cougar screamed at us.

                Ten years later, only a couple of miles from the first encouter, I was feeding the horses around dusk at our family farm. I caught some motion out of the corner of my eye and looked up. About 100 yards away, sitting on a dozer pile, was a large mountain lion, just hanging out and watching me feed the horses. Our eyes met for a few seconds, and then he/she nonchalantly disappeared into the woods. I think I set a new world record that evening for finishing the barn chores.

                So, yeah, there are mountain lions in middle TN, and they've been there for a while!

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by hackinaround View Post
                  I've seen this linked all over my friends and families FB's and what is the saddest to me are the people saying how they would never allow their horse to be exposed to such a monster blah blah. and the few saying they would shoot to kill if they saw it on their property.

                  The Florida panther is estimiated to number at about 160 individuals. That is a species on its way to being extinct. It finds its self in that position because of the development of habitat from the east west and north.

                  The most violent threat to its survival is human enchroachment.

                  Who knows why if it truly was a big cat it attacked a horse could have been sheer hunger and it was spooked off the carcass. They are very shy reclusive animals .. maybe the horse stumbled upon the cat crossings its pasture. All speculation.

                  Either way we built our homes on top of theirs in Collier county they deserve to be there and if some of our lifestyle get bruised every so often because of it so be it.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fl...herHabitat.png
                  Is just an idea of how much we really do over lap their home turf.
                  This is such insane reasoning. None of us would be here in this country, or any place for that matter, if this is how our forefathers believed. The place was covered with predators which we had great difficulty in beating back in order to even live and walk around the place. Good grief.....
                  "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Calamber View Post
                    This is such insane reasoning. None of us would be here in this country, or any place for that matter, if this is how our forefathers believed. The place was covered with predators which we had great difficulty in beating back in order to even live and walk around the place. Good grief.....
                    Then go flog a seal pup or better yet a polar bear cub or something Clamber.

                    The bottom line is the Florida Panther has no natural predators other then man and gators and has been forced to the brink of extinction because of the destruction of its habitat, conflicts with cars while searching for home range and low genetic viability due to such a small breeding population. If you think its our right to build condos and chew up more and more natural resources at the cost of a few species that just don't have anywhere left to adapt too .. then go right ahead. Just don't be a shrew to people who oppose that idea.

                    Remember I grew up in SW FL and have watched it expand with leaps and bounds into more and more wild spaces with reckless abandonment and very little restriction. You're right our for fathers had a right to stake out a homestead .. I'm not sure we have the right to drain and back fill the everglades to make room for winter /vacation homes for a few snow birds.
                    Last edited by Lynnwood; Jan. 4, 2012, 02:06 AM.
                    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

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