Ezra Van of Miami Beach came upon quite a sight Wednesday evening by the entrance of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Copeland, Florida.
It was around 5:30 p.m. and the wildlife enthusiast was close to packing up for the day when he spotted a group of Florida panthers scamper by, chasing an injured turkey vulture.
His video shows the lithe animals run after the black bird, then cross the road as a light rain falls.
Van believes the would-be prey was spared. After about two minutes, the panthers seem to lose interest and walk back into the forest.
Days later, Van is still in awe of what he witnessed.
“Panther sightings are pretty rare,” he said of the endangered cats. “I have been tracking them as a hobby for the past few years and this is my first sighting, so seeing a whole family is pretty amazing.”
Van wasn’t 100 percent sure, but he said local experts told him it looked as if a mother was teaching the three cubs to hunt.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, panthers are lone creatures.
“Florida panthers are territorial and solitary, unless a pair is mating or a female is raising kittens. They use pheromones and physical signs (like claw markings or feces) to define their territory. Males roam much larger territories than the females. A male can make a territory more than 200 to 250 square miles in size. “
As for the bird, it hardly would have been enough for dinner for four.
Florida panthers are carnivores, with a diet that inlcudes larger, meatier creatures such as deer, wild hogs and even raccoons.