Panther population may be increasing

January 5, 2009 5:37:07 AM PST
According to a report by Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state's panther population is on the rise.

The tawny-fur felines now number around 100, compared to about 35 in the early 1990s.

The commission's report shows that interactions between humans and panthers are increasing, and that panthers attacked domestic animals on eight occasions between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008. During the study period, panthers killed 11 domestic animals: six goats, five sheep and one fallow deer. A llama and a dog were injured.

Although human-panther interactions are increasing, experts say the endangered big cats are shy and not a real threat to people.