GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. - Residents in the Golden Gate Estates are no stranger to dealing with wildlife in their back yards. However, one man is walking away with one amazing story after getting face-to-face with a Florida panther.
Mark Poole was checking on his livestock early one morning this week when he found himself 15 feet from a panther. The cat was trying to protect it's prey, which happened to be one of Poole's goats, and growled aggressively at him. Poole backed away slowly and was not hurt.
Poole believes three panthers have been in the area for over a year and have killed hundreds of dollars in livestock. But, it was this close encounter that has him putting up a 10 foot fence, added lights, and even loud music that turns on with motion sensors.
Florida Fish and Wildlife says it's uncommon for a panther to attack a person. However, if you should come in contact with one you need to back away slowly and keep eye contact with the cat. Never run because the panther's natural instincts will be to chase you. If the cat comes toward you FWC says you should wave your arms to look larger and yell at the panther.