Panther Petrifying Local Residents

An area neighborhood is on guard after spotting what appears to be a panther. Those who didn't see it say the growl they heard is frightening enough.

William Dunwoody, a Perry resident, says, "I heard something, like ‘graaaw, graaaw.’ It was loud and scary. It just shook every hair on my body."

William Dunwoody has been warning his neighbors in southwest Perry of the animal noise he heard outside his home.

Mary Scott says it's a panther because she's seen it several times in her yard.

Mary says, "We have a lot of children playing out here. He was a big, black panther. As a matter of fact, he looked like he was larger than I am, so I wish something could be done about it."

Patricia Brown says she saw two paw prints the size of her hand. She says they were positioned on the hood of her truck as if the animal were trying to jump across.

Patricia Brown, a concerned resident, says, "Late one night around one or two in the morning, I heard a noise hit on top of my vehicle like somebody putting a dent in it or something."

Brown says the big cat is also responsible for damage to the skirt of her trailer home. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says the noise description, vague paw prints in the sand, and even the eyewitness isn't much help.

Nuria Sancho, a wildlife biologist, says, "We don't have any proof. We're just trying to investigate the case and hopefully we'll know what it is."

FWC says the residents should not be afraid. Perry Animal Control did set a trap in Patricia Brown's yard for one day, but to no avail.