NAPLES, Fla.- Homeowners in Golden Gate Estates are on high alert. A panther is responsible for animal deaths on 16th Avenue NE.
Steve Kreynus returned from his holiday vacation in Virginia to find two dead sheep in his backyard. He says he thinks the same panther, believed to be a young male, killed 11 goats belonging to his neighbor.
Kreynus also has three grandchildren and is concerned about the proximity of the attacks to Sabal Palm Elementary and Cypress Palm Middles schools in Golden Gate Estates.
"Kids go to school in the morning and it's dark, and if a cougar's in the area, something should be done. Why wait until a kid is attakced or a human being is attacked?" Kreynus said.
Officers from Collier County Domestic Animal Services, the sheriff's office's ag unit, and Florida Fish and Wildlife all responded to the attack in Golden Gate Estates Monday. They all agreed that what's happening in the estates, though unfortunate, isn't unnatural.
"There's no reason to believe a panther that kills a goat or a sheep is then going to kill a human next," FWC biologist Mark Lotz said.
Lotz says it's up to homeowner to keep predators out, but panther-proofing their yards.
Lotz says estimates there are 100-160 panthers living in Florida. You can report livestock lost by a panther by calling y calling FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).