Florida Panther in Sarasota

This "Palmer Ranch Panther" has been determined to be a panther
by a professional wildlife photographer that photographs  panthers. However, another professional identified
this as a bobcat.

If you think that you see a panther, please take as many photos
as possible and email them to us. 



2/18/2010 in Venetia, Venice FL
Pat M was walking her dog when she spotted a panther by one of the lakes in Venetia. She sees bobcats occasionally and is sure this was a panther, as it was much larger and had a very long tail. Pat explained that the lakes and wetlands in Venetia connect to a great deal of undeveloped land, so the panther may have ventured up from that area.

florida panther paw print


Read Herald Tribune Article on the Panther in Sarasota County




Photo use approved by Deborah Blanco

March 18, 2009
I saw the Palmer Ranch panther last week at around 8:45am.  At first I thought it was a bobcat but after looking up the photos,  it was a panther.  It was huge!!!   It was about 4 feet long...plus a long tail.  It was about 2 1/2 feet high.  As I was leaving the west entrance of Mira Lago (just north of Beneva) it ran in front of the car and behind a home located inside of Mira Lago.

FL Panther Palmer Ranch Sighting 1/29/2009


Sighting Update 1/14/2008

I just wanted to report that my sister and I saw the Palmer Ranch Panther on two separate occasions on Tuesday January 14, 2008.  She was taking a morning run around 8am when she saw it, and I was taking my kids for a walk around 5pm when I saw it.  It was in the same area both times -  near the intersection of Whitemarsh Avenue and Glen Meadow Drive in Stoneybrook Country Club.  It was running across the street into the brush area. 
What a treat!
 Heather P


We would like to inform you of a wonderful Panther sighting on Friday. (2/23/07)He walked by our lanai and we watched him walk to the preserve and stop as though he saw a prey inside. We watched as he stood for a few minutes and I got a great look thru binoculars. This was the second time in recent months. This took place in Turtle Rock on Palmer Ranch.
Greta P


12/9/06: 4pm:  Watched what appeared to be a Florida Panther pounce on and successfully capture and kill small water bird in the preserve area South of Central Sarasota Parkway.  Fishing from north shore of lake/pond, when large cat pounced on a Eastern coot, which was swimming in lake from the shoreline.  Animal entered water to capture bird and bounded out of water easily clearing 4 foot high grasses.  Cat was approx.  30 inches high and weighed 60-80 lbs,  Sighted from about 50 yards away.  Absolutely stunning to watch.  I guarantee there are prints in the mud at the sight of the kill.  Will notify authorities Monday. 

David G

Sarasota FL

Met with County wildlife person.  We  were not allowed to enter site to look for prints as we would have had to cross private property to do so.  I doubt I will ever get verification of what I saw. The sighting was in the Stoneybrook Area of Palmer Ranch,  Property manager was very nice,  but would not allow us to cross private property to look for tracks.  He did say there was a very large bobcat in the area, but I have never seen an 80 lb bobcat.  The bird taken was a pied billed grebe not a coot. Use the sighting if you wish.

SIGHTINGS UPDATE September 2006:

How exciting, we finally have a photo of the Palmer Ranch panther. We are so fortunate to have this magnificent creature in our area. Thank you to Kathy from Damascus, MD, who was visiting family on Palmer Ranch for sharing this story and photo. 


I was standing in my mother-in--law's lanai in mid August and saw the panther  walking along the back of the property line.  The house is in Palmer Ranch off Honore Road and backs up to a small preserve.
I was able to get my husbands camera and got a picture of the panther but unfortunately he had moved away (when I first saw him he was probably only 10 feet away) so the picture isn't that great.
Before I got the pix, I made a noise and he turned and looked straight at me.  Wow....wish I had that shot.
Kathy T.
Damascus, MD

2nd Sighting  9/4/06

My family and I were driving eastbound on 72 between Sarasota and Arcadia this morning (Labor Day) and sighted a medium-sized panther crossing from south to north (approximately 9:45 AM). I guesstimate that we were 3 or 3 miles east of the Myakka State Park entrance. I honked the horn to alert it and to assure that it stayed clear of the road. It stopped on the north side of the road and looked at us as we passed and then proceeded north. I wasn't aware of panthers being in that area and I thought your organization might want to have this information.

Gregory M.

Sarasota Panther Sightings:

I was showing properties on Sunday, 12/4/05 to a client that lives on Palmer Ranch. She was very sure that she watched a Florida Panther by the small lake behind her house last week. She said it looked sleek and healthy.


I saw a Panther on the Trails to Rails path near Saratoga condos Friday evening, then again Saturday April 29th about 7:30 p.m. crossing through Silver Oaks subdivision to the southern woods.  Sorry I didn't have a camera.  Kyle


Panther Growl

Panther Purr

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Sightings in other areas of Florida

Last March while living on Amelia Island Florida at the Amelia Island Plantation I spotted a Florida Panther on the 18th fairway of Oak Marsh Golf Course. I took a picture of it but it was so far away that you cannot really see it in the photo well.  Others that lived on the Plantation said they also spotted a Black Panther in the area.

Sincerely,  Toni M  


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