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Rare panther encounter in Naples

Posted at 10:08 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 22:08:37-04

NAPLES, Fla. — CCSO Community Service Deputy Brandi Ahrens had a close encounter of the panther kind Friday morning.

CSD Ahrens was typing a report in her work vehicle along the CREW Bird Rookery Swamp public hiking trail off Shady Hollow Blvd., around 8:30 a.m., when she saw something moving out of the corner of her eye.

It was a Florida panther, and it was heading her way.

CSD Ahrens rolled up her window, but managed to take a quick video in the process.

The Florida panther is an endangered species and catching a glimpse of one in the wild is a rare experience.

There are only 120 to 130 Florida panthers left in the wild, according to the National Wildlife Federation.