You hardly ever hear cats first - but the eyes, you cannot mistake the eyes. Inquisitive, yet cautious, there she was.
Peering through the vegetation in silence, we locked eyes and stared, wondering what the other was up to. I was kneeling on the trail tying my shoe when I noticed her. Keeping my hands at my feet and agonizingly tolerating the immense swarm of mosquitoes, I quietly changed lenses on my camera. Then ever so slowly, I raised my arms and captured her gaze.
The Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) is an endangered subspecies of puma (also commonly referred to as mountain lions, cougars, and catamounts) ranging throughout the Americas. Although the Florida panther once roamed across the eastern United States, it is now confined to only small fragments of southwestern Florida.
For more on current conservation policies concerning the Florida panther: http://www.peter-houlihan.com/#!The-Plight-of-the-Panther-Rare-footage-and-conservation-of-Florida’s-elusive-big-cat/c1pwi/47F0429C-5C80-4C33-BFF6-744A8B7F078F