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Deep within the tangled grasses and winding waterways of the Florida Everglades lives a secretive predator known as the Florida panther. This endangered big cat is a close relative of the more common mountain lion of the western part of North America. There are thought to be 230 Florida panthers left in the wild. 


Florida panthers are slightly smaller than their western counterparts. The average Florida panther weighs about 100 pounds, but the largest males can grow to 160 pounds. They hunt prey as small as mice and prey as large as deer, pigs, cats, storks, herons, and even alligators. In turn, they are sometimes preyed upon by large alligators. Humans, however, are by far the biggest threat to Florida panthers. Habitat destruction and collisions with vehicles have taken a major toll on the population.