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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Wings of Hope

Living with Panthers and Black Bears



Living with Florida Panthers

-Be aware at dawn, duck, or dark when panthers are most active
-Hike or bike with a friend. There is safety in numbers
-To avoid attracting panther prey, don't leave food outside
-Secure trash containers
-Landscape with plants that do not attract deer or other panther prey
-Report any panther sightings to
-If you see a panther, give it space. Don't run.

Living with Florida Black Bears 

-Secure household trash cans in a shed, garage or wildlife-resistant container.
-Place household trash cans out the morning of pick up day, rather than the night before.
-Feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding.
-Clean grills and store them in a locked, secure place.
-Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
-Pick up fruit from trees—bears love fruit!
-Don’t leave your dog chained up outside, bears could attack them.
-Keep dogs on a leach and cats inside.
-If you see or suspect that someone is feeding or attracting bears, go to
-Report any illegal Saw Palmetto berry picking at the FWC Alert Hotline (888) 404-3922

Bears in your backyard!

Scare that bear with:
--Fog horn blasts
--Beating a pan with a spoon
--Loud music

Help Keep Our Bears Wild!

Visit for the latest information and activities on the natural history of the Florida panther, its habitat, threats to its survival and conservation efforts.