Severaland Bobcats in Florida seem to have developed a mysterious disorder that attracts the attention of wildlife officials. The animals have difficulty walking and have hind legs, often stumble and fall off. Some believe that they may have been poisoned.
"All affected animals showed some degree of walking difficulties or difficulty in coordinating their hind legs," said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in a statement on Monday.
The FWC confirmed that a Panther and a Bobcat were suffering from neurological damage. Trail camera footage also recorded eight panthers and one bobcat, who were struggling with the disease with varying degrees of severity. It seems kitten hardest to hit.
Affected cats can be seen on video from various locations, including Counties Collier, Lee, and Sarasota. A panther was photographed that might be affected in Charlotte County, but the disorder appears to be localized.
"Although the number of animals exhibiting these symptoms is relatively low, we are intensifying our monitoring efforts to determine the full extent of the problem," said Gil McRae, director of the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. "Numerous diseases and possible causes are excluded, a definitive cause is not yet known."
The FWC is testing for potential toxins – including rat pesticides -, infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies.
The agency also asks locals to share personal surveillance footage showing the fighting animals. Gathering more photos and video evidence helps researchers further analyze and validate the condition.
are threatened with extinction affecting the population.
The Panther territory once encompassed the entire southeast, but its current habitat is largely confined to southwest Florida. Only about 120 to 230 adult panthers can be seen in the state,.