The state of Florida has a reputation for being, well, pretty weird. As someone who was born and raised in the state, I can say that reputation is pretty well deserved. It seems like every bizarre story you hear on the news comes from somewhere within the borders of the Sunshine State. I'm not exactly sure why that is, maybe the salty beach air and Disney magic make for a dangerous combination.
One thing that makes the state of Florida really unique is its wildlife and their remarkable ability to get a little too close for comfort. Alligators are awesome creatures, but I'd rather not have one in my swimming pool, thank you very much. One Florida man recently experienced this reality when he found a dangerous predator lounging on his front porch. Phil Hendra lives in Fort Myers, and when his dog wouldn't stop barking, he assumed there was a squirrel or cat outside his home. But when he opened the front door, Phil received the surprise of a lifetime.
Waiting outside his front door was a full-grown Florida panther. Scroll down to keep reading and see what happened next.
When Phil saw the panther, his first reaction was to grab his phone and take a picture.
Being a good Florida resident, Phil knew just how rare this incident was. Florida panthers are extremely endangered. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation says there are less than 100 of them left in the wild. He described the incident to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and told them:
"[The panther] stayed for about 20 minutes and laid down for a bit. It looked at us inside the window then slowly walked away, and we have not seen it since. My parents have lived here since 1988 and they may have seen a younger panther about two years ago, but nothing compares to this once in a lifetime experience."
The image of the curious panther was posted on social media and soon became an Internet sensation.
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H/T: Wochit News