Dog survives Florida panther attack, loses eye in Golden Gate Estates

Back in May, an owner’s dog was attacked by a Florida panther. The beloved pet survived the attack but now lives with lasting battle scars. We recently learned about the encounter and spoke to a wildlife expert about the prevalence of these occurrences, since community members are worried about future possibilities of this near them again.

The Florida Wildlife Commission has confirmed that a Florida panther attacked an owner’s pet dog May 20, roughly three feet from the front door of their home in Golden Gate Estates. It left the dog without one of his eyes. The owner chose not to speak about it with us on camera.

The attack happened near homes on 22nd Ave SE, where other neighbors in the community have new concerns.

“Well, it’s horrible,” Bob Lippe said. “I am concerned about the dogs because they’re little bitty things. The panther’s going to eat them for lunch.”

Florida Wildlife Federation told us these attacks are rare, but say to take precautions if you live in panther habitat.

“Keeping our pets inside, keeping them on a leash, making sure we’re not lingering at that dawn and dusk time frame when they’re most active and when they may be hunting for their prey,” said Meredith Budd with FWF.

Another dog owner we spoke to said she always takes precautions. She has two Dobermans and cares for their three little pups.

“We just forget the dangers at work out here,” Andrea Trammell said. “I mean, there’s bears; there’s snakes; there’s panthers, and you know, they like to come out at night.”

Luckily the dog that was attacked is doing well now. His owner told us he’s running around like normal again, and his recovery only took a few weeks.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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