MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently posted a video of a driver and FWC officers coming together to help an endangered Florida panther get to safety after it was seen stuck on the wrong side of a safety fence.
On its Facebook page, the FWC calls the video ‘How to Herd a Cat.’
It was posted on April 22 and describes how highway workers spotted an endangered Florida panther trapped on the wrong side of a highway safety fence just north of I-75 east of Naples in Collier County and near the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
The roughly 50-mile fence is designed to separate panthers from traffic and guide them to wildlife crossings beneath the highway but somehow, this panther was on the wrong side.
Video from a responding FWC officer’s body cam showed how he and a helpful motorist slowly and cautiously encouraged the wild cat to safety.
“It seems easy, until it isn’t,” reads the captioning as the FWC officer claps his hands to get the attention of the panther, which is clinging to the side of the fence.
“Git!” yells the official. “Move!”
The panther then growls and hisses.
A driver in a pickup truck is asked to slowly back up on the side of the road to help persuade the panther to move toward the opening of the gate that leads into the Wildlife Refuge.
After sitting down briefly near the fence, the apparently nervous panther takes off and re-enters the refuge through the open gate.
The Facebook post ends with the reminder to report sightings of injured or dead panthers by calling the @Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone. Text or email Tip@MyFWC.com.