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Man snaps photo of Florida panther sitting on father's porch

Endangered cat stayed at house for 20 minutes

(FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute)
(FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute)


FORT MYERS, Fla. – If you can't get out to see the wildlife in Florida, sometimes the wildlife will come to you.

Like right up to your front door.

A Florida man recently received the jolt of a lifetime when he found a Florida panther casually sitting on the front porch of his father's home in East Fort Myers.

The FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute shared the story of Phil Hendra on its Facebook page.

Hendra was visiting his father at his home south of the Orange River on March 18 when he noticed the endangered cat.

"It stayed for about 20 minutes and laid down for a bit," Hendra told the FWC. "It looked at us inside the window then slowly walked away and we have not seen it since." 

According to the FWC, Florida panthers are solitary and elusive, meaning sightings in such a public area are rare, and definitely memorable.

"My parents have lived here since 1988 and they may have seen a younger panther about two years ago, but nothing compares to this once in a lifetime experience," said Hendra.

The FWC asks Florida residents to report panther sightings HERE.

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It's not every day you look out the window to see a Florida panther sitting on your porch! Phil Hendra was at his father...

Posted by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on Tuesday, March 29, 2016