COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Stunning and rare pictures of the endangered Florida Panther took five years of dedication and patience to produce. National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward Jr. set up state-of-the-art camera traps throughout the Florida woods and swamps to capture images of the elusive cats.
Many of these camera trap images took years to capture because of the cats' rarity, their unpredictable movements, and the difficulty involved in getting the right lighting. Florida's weather can be a challenge too: One camera was lost during a hurricane but was later recovered.
The stunning photos were captured at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a reserve of old-growth cypress forest surrounded by encroaching suburbs on three sides; highlighting the need for Florida to continue balancing its tremendous population growth with preservation, and the continued conservation efforts to save the Florida Panther from extinction.
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