Punta Gorda’s Babcock Wilderness Adventures is New Home Of a Fourth-Generation Panther
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (October 06, 2014) – Babcock Wilderness Adventures is pleased to welcome a male, fourth-generation Florida panther to the family. Born in captivity, “Osceola” is 13 years old and arrived at Babcock Ranch on Sept. 12, 2014. Visitors who take Babcock Wilderness Adventures’ 90-minute buggy tour through the working cattle ranch and Telegraph Swamp can view the panther in his new home.
Osceola came to the ranch from Jesse Williams Ranch in Miami, where he had lived since he was a kitten. The panther was delivered to Babcock Wilderness Adventures (Tel: 800-500-5583; www.babcockwilderness.com) by Travis Carlson of Green Field Preserve, an organization specializing in rescuing and finding homes for many types of wildlife that cannot be returned to their natural habitat. Osceola’s mother was Marjory, named after journalist and environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas who penned “The Everglades: River of Grass.” She received her name because she was born on the author’s 100th birthday.
Florida panthers are solitary animals and rarely observed in their natural habitat. The panther was placed on the Endangered Species List in 1967. According to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, successful panther conservation efforts over the last four decades have allowed the panther population to grow. Biologists estimate there are 100 – 180 adult panthers in Florida. (Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “Commissioners Receive Panther Update,” June 19, 2014 http://www.floridapanthernet.org/index.php/notes/entry/2227/#.VC23SPldWdF)
Now enjoying retirement in his largest home to date, Osceola is living in an outdoor pen, measuring a third-of-an-acre amidst the 90,000-acre Crescent B Ranch. During Babcock Wilderness Adventures tours, interpreters provide insights into flora and fauna as the buggy makes its way through diverse eco-systems such as open prairie, pine flat-woods, cypress swamp and freshwater marsh. In addition to Florida cracker cattle, it’s possible to view other wildlife such as alligators, native birds, wild pigs, and turkeys abound.
Fun fact: Miami-Dade County issued a proclamation dedicating April 7, 2006, as Osceola the Panther Day.
Image of Osceola. Credit: Cheryl Dierken/Babcock Wilderness Adventures: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mw8l3ukaqw4wz4t/BabcockWildernessAdventures-Osceola.jpg?dl=0
Ms. Cheryl Dierken
Babcock Wilderness Adventures
Tel: 941-639-3958 Ext. 5