by Tom Haddad
I saw a large strange cat in 1988 in port St.Lucie/Stuart fla. – My wife saw 2 of them. I have tried on many occasions to identify this cat
This was in my front yard, there was a new mall being built and a secluded area was being cleared for the mall.
Anyway, this cat was very big – the size of a mountain lion, but I have seen these and this wasn’t a mountain lion or cougar you’d see in Florida.
It was built like a cheetah – small head and ears, but very large jowels. The rear legs were larger than the front and it had a tail – but it appeared to have part of the tail missing.
It was a dark brownish/red color and when it turned in the sunlight – you could see dark brown brendel stripes clearly. This cat was bigger than my dog – a large full grown malamute/setter.
An old-timer told me that there used to be a Florida wildcat – supposedly extinct, and maybe that’s what I saw..
Any ideas what this was?
There are many comments on this page from people who believe that they have seen a Florida wildcat but are unsure of its species. Please read the comments for a lot more information.
Hi Tom… Could it be the almost famous Florida jaguarundi! I am writing some time after you made the post and it seems that there is now (at 2nd December 2011) a lot of talk about the Florida jaguarundi.
Of course, the jaguarundi is much smaller than a cheetah or mountain lion. So if it is the jaguarundi you may have made a mistake on the size.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.