• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Annual 60-Day ORV Closure for Wheeled Vehicles

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, June 2, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of the Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 1. More »

  • Campground Closure

    All campgrounds but Midway and the loop in the Bear Island Campground are closed through August 29. More »

  • Interstate 75 Mile Marker 63 Closure

    Beginning summer of 2013, the rest area and backcountry access at Mile Marker 63 will be closed due to construction. More »

Reward Offered for Information Regarding Florida Panther Death

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Date: December 8, 2013
Contact: David Fireman, 239-695-1108
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107

The National Park Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of a Florida Panther that was recently found dead. The federally protected panther was found with a suspected gunshot wound on December 7, 2013, in the Turner River Unit of Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County, Florida.

Anyone with information that directly leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment, or forfeiture of property on the subject or subjects responsible for the suspected unlawful take of this Florida Panther may be eligible for a reward. 

"The Florida panther is one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. This is a serious incident and we are asking the public to assist us with discovering details related to this incident." stated Pedro Ramos, Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve.

The Florida Panther is protected under The Endangered Species Act. The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of a Florida Panther are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine per individual. Anyone with information on the death of this panther or any others, past or future, is urged to contact Special Agent David Mayeski through NPS Dispatch at 1-800-788-0511.

Did You Know?

Researchers gather data from a bear that was removed as a nuisance.

Do not feed wildlife within the preserve. A "fed bear is a dead bear." This bear was fed and eventually became a threat to visitor safety. Nuisance wildlife is sometimes removed, but typically does not survive.