Our Jaguarundi Sighting

On a recent drive to Miami, Florida we took a side trip to the Sebastian Inlet State Park area. For the past fifteen years I have Jaguarundi camped and fished in this area and have become pretty familiar with what to expect in the way of wildlife.

However, on this occasion, as we approached the park, a rather large black animal came out of a  shoreline cluster of grasses and quickly ran across the road, disappearing into a stand of dune grass. It wasn’t a house cat, fox, dog, or anything common. We all immediately concluded it was a panther or other large cat.

When we got to the park we stopped to report our sighting to a ranger. After we described what we’d seen the ranger said we had seen a jaguarundi. A wild cat found in Central and South America but that was often showing up in certain parts of Florida.

The jaguarundi comes in several colorations, weighs about thirty pounds, has short rounded ears, short legs, and a very long tail. Its running gait resembles of an otter and its often called an “otter cat.”

It is mostly a nocturnal reclusive animal and I’ve found nothing to indicate it is a threat to humans.

We so often think of Florida as being a heavily urbanized place where mostly old people live. The reality is just the opposite. Much of Florida remains wild and home to a vast variety of wildlife.

This video was shot on a remote wildlife camera in Costa Rica.

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