The Panther’s Last Stand

Only 70 Remain, and They’re Quickly Losing Their Florida Habit

You may recognize the Florida panthers as the ferocius cat flashing its teeth on pro hockey T-shirts sold in sporting goods stores, or peering from one of the Sunshine State’s hottest selling specialty license plates. Its cash-register-ringing popularity belies and irony: The Florida panther is perhaps the world’s most endangered carnivore, with only about 70 surviving in the wild, including the young. Down from the days when a panther scalp brought a $5 bounty from cattlemen tired of the cats killing calves, almost everyone now wants the save the panther. But can they?