GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla.- A devastated dog owner says a panther known for prowling his Collier County neighborhood snatched up his pet last night!
He says his neighbors are worried for their pets and their small children.
It's believed this is the same panther we told you about a couple of weeks ago that was found wandering near 11th street Southwest in Golden Gate Estates.
Those who have encountered the cat say he's fearless and tonight, residents want the panther to be captured. Florida Fish and Wildlife did have bait traps set up for a few weeks, but tonight they tell WINK News, they are no longer using them.
"I lunged for the dog and I saw the tail, and I just missed it and the cat took off with buddy."
The shocking attack happened right in front of Nickie Koch's eyes.
"When you hear your dog crunching in a cats mouth, you'll know what it feels like," said Koch.
His dog "Buddy" was attacked and killed by what he believes to be a panther in his Golden Gate Estates driveway.
"This cat is showing up everywhere in broad daylight, he's cruising up to people like...Eh...like nothing."
In the last few weeks, FWC has received reports and pictures of a panther sightings in the area.
"This cat is fearless, I'm telling you, it's a problem, it's an accident waiting to happen."
Biologist set out bait traps to capture the cat, but they have since suspended the efforts.
"All the conservationist care about is the panther, they don't care about your cats, abut your dogs, not until it takes a human life will they do something," said Koch.
FWC tells WINK News, this is the first report they have of a panther killing a pet.
"In this situation they need to tree that cat and take it out. It's simple. That's it. The end. They are nuts, absolutely nuts."
Residents say this cat's pit stop doesn't make this community feel safe. They are worried that cat will attack again.
"I called my neighbor and I said Michelle you keep those kids inside."
FWC says since the panther is not collared, they have to rely on the public for information, that information will in turn help them choose what actions to take.