Naples residents say Panther habitat is being destroyed
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
Two Collier County men said new property developments are evicting panthers. For months, Tom Conroy and Aaron Waite have been watching the wildlife roam in the woods near their homes. But worry when new property comes in, panthers will be kicked out. The two started snapping pictures from hunting cameras after finding out a new property development, Hacienda Lakes, would be built in the area of Collier Blvd and Rattlesnake Hammock Road.
"It's just sad they have no where else to go." Aaron Waite said.
Tom and Aaron worry the panther habitat will soon turn into a fiery scene like at nearby development sites.
"They go back to that spot they're used to and when they get back there after a day of bulldozing they come back at night time nothing is there that they recognize so they're wandering further into the roadways." Aaron Waite said.
A spokesperson from Florida Fish and Wildlife said they always carefully review plans for large scale developments but said there's still plenty of panther safe havens.
"Particularly those that involve the loss of panther habitat and we provide guidance on how to minimize or mitigate those losses so in this particular situation, although some habitat is going to be lost, there will be a gain in the permanently protected panther habitat." Carli Segelson from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.
But, Tom and Aaron said something more needs to be done to protect our endangered species. "Everyday we drive out here we see a different dead animal on the street. Last week it was otters, baby deer it is an every day thing and it is just very very sad because once they're gone, that's it." Tom Conroy said.