FORT MYERS (FOX 13) - A panther was caught on camera relaxing on the porch outside a home in Lee County earlier in March.
The photo circulated online for about 10 days before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tracked down the originator, who is the son of the homeowner.
Phil Hendra told FWC he was at his father's house in East Fort Myers just south of the Orange River on March 18 when he snapped the picture.
The FWC posted on its Facebook page, quoting Hendra, saying, "It 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."
To report panther sightings to the FWC, visit http://bit.ly/1pYivXe
The FWC said panther research and management is primarily funded by the “Protect the Panther” license plate. To buy a panther license plate, visit: http://bit.ly/VnyOZg