Naples Zoo Celebrates Tenth Annual
Florida Panther Festival on November 5
Naples Zoo will be celebrating our tenth Annual Florida Panther Festival on Saturday, November 5th, from 9 am to 1 pm. This is your chance to dive into the world of Florida panthers by learning from biologists, professional wildlife experts from national and state parks, state and federal wildlife agencies, as well as other nature organizations.
Florida Panthers have beaten the odds through the years, growing from only a couple dozen on the brink of extinction to now over a couple hundred. In the 1990’s models were suggesting the demise of the Florida panther would be within 20 years but to prevent extinction, a genetic restoration effort in 1995 temporarily introduced female pumas from Texas. Since then, numbers of Florida panthers have continued to grow as does the population of Florida residents. This has created a greater chance for panthers and people to cross paths on the roads and on the trails.
As the Florida panther population continues to grow, we as Floridans must do our part to help protect them and ourselves. So, what is one way you can help? Well, if you’ve spent any time driving in Florida there’s a chance you’ve seen one of the many Panther Crossing signs. Abiding by the speed limit in these wildlife zones can help to prevent a costly and dangerous accident with a panther. Road kills are a leading cause of death for the panthers. In just 2016 and 2017, 58 of the known panther deaths were attributed to vehicle strikes including a 3-month-old kitten. With roughly only 250 Florida panthers in the wild, slowing down from 60 mph to 45 mph for only a 3-mile-long distance in a panther crossing will add just a single minute to your drive but potentially save an entire life of a panther. Read more about ways to help prevent an accident at https://www.thefloridapanther.org
To hear all about what can be done to protect the future of Florida Panthers and Florida wildlife, join us for the Tenth Annual Florida Panther Festival at the Naples Zoo November 5th, 9 am to 1 pm. This is the first Saturday of the month, which means all Collier County residents are eligible for free admission! More info at http://www.floridapantherfestival.com