Florida Panthers Are Allegedly Eating Shelter Cats

A caretaker for a Collier County cat shelter says the outdoor enclosure cats are in danger of attacks by cougars.

Puma, cougar, mountain lion, panther—they go by many names, but they're one and the same. Found throughout the U.S., Florida panthers are endangered to the region. However, a woman who watches over felines at a shelter in Collier County claims the big cats are maiming rescue kitties.

Caretaker Tracy Schneider said panthers are scaling the fence surrounding the outdoor enclosure, a fence that she says was heightened shortly before Hurricane Irma but left damaged in its wake.


Schneider said at least four cats were killed in the first instance and is calling on shelter owner Tamera Sparkman to take action. Sparkman, however, claims Schneider has a vendetta against her due to a long-standing eviction notice. Schneider lives on the property to watch over the cats but Sparkman believes Schneider's care to be inadequate, leading to a call for eviction.

"Because of the poor level of care the cats were receiving, we've been trying to evict Tracy," Sparkman said. "So this is a personal vendetta."

The shelter, located on Golden Gate Estates, is well-known for being inhabited by free-roaming panthers. Though Sparkman has already taken to relocating some of the rescue cats, some still remain at the facility. Sparkman plans to transfer all of the shelter cats to Broward County by the end of March and find them new homes. She then plans to move Schneider off the property.

Do you have any ideas to protect the shelter cats? Share you thoughts in the comments below.

WATCH NOW: The Catspad Is a Smart Pet Feeding System