Florida Panther Sighting in Manatee Preserve

Florida Panther Sighting in Manatee Preserve
Posted on 01/20/2024
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (January 20, 2024) – Manatee County’s efforts to preserve and maintain natural habitat are drawing attention from environmentalists—and from the native species these preserves are trying to protect.

Recent game-cam sightings of a male panther moving through the County’s Duette Preserve have drawn attention to the 22,000-acre oasis for wildlife.

“He’s out here making his rounds,” explained Manatee County Ranger Jerry Miller, discussing the detections with Manatee County District 3 Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge while touring the Preserve today. “The presence of this majestic endangered species not only shows the biodiversity of our preserves but underscores the need for conservation efforts.”

Miller was once again hosting local TV crews, who’ve been keenly interested in the panther sighting since Manatee County Communications shared a video on social media earlier in the week. That clip has been viewed thousands of times and has been included in numerous news articles on air, online and in print..

The ranger explained that male panthers can explore a broader territory, spanning over 200,000 acres, compared to females. Manatee County’s Duette Preserve has become a frequent sighting location for male panthers as they seek out females and additional food sources.

“This sighting of an apex predator shows that the eco-system is thriving," said an enthusiastic Commissioner Van Ostenbridge. “The good news is that the environment in Duette Preserve is absolutely thriving."

Van Ostenbridge went on to explain that this sort of success story will be coming out more frequently from the County.

“The purpose behind these preserves is to ensure that future generations have open space and green space that they can go to and enjoy.”

See the video clip and learn more from Ranger Miller and Commissioner Van Ostenbridge