Full credit is due to Capefearcapt on YouTube for this witty assessment, as it couldn’t be more true. “Dang… Throw in an alligator and you’d have a Florida Grand Slam!!” his full reply reads; one of the top comments on the real star here. Which is, of course, the home security footage uploaded by Terry Wilson.
It’s exactly what you think you’re about to see, too. A set of exterior cameras on this Florida home managed to capture the moment a black bear, two white-tailed deer, and a Florida panther (a subspecies of mountain lion) are all interacting on the homeowner’s property. And it is wild.
As the footage starts, look to the top right of the yard for the black bear, who’s keeping his eye on two deer: a mother and her fawn. The bear knows he’s been spotted, though, so he continues lurking from a distance. As he does, the deer have absolutely no idea that a Florida panther is stalking them from behind. Take a look:
Now I know I am biased when it comes to my excitement over a clip like this. I’ve been at this for a long time, and I’ve never seen a continuous clip of a black bear and mountain lion hunting the same prey simultaneously. But this is just fantastic wildlife viewing in general, especially when the young fawn kicks into high gear and outruns the stealthy panther.
Deer are Common Prey for Florida’s Uncommon Predators
That Florida panther is another reason this footage is exceptional. The state of Florida estimates only 200 Florida panthers remain. That’s it for the entire state. Before the last several decades of conservation efforts, Florida panthers were on the brink of extinction entirely. Even after a slow recovery from around 20 to 200 individuals, catching one on camera is pretty rare in itself, let alone in the same breadth as a black bear.
Black bears are not a common sight for most Floridians, either. But they are far more numerous, with the state estimating a population of 4,000 bears.
And then there’s white-tailed deer, of course, which feel about as numerous as us humans at any given time. There are three subspecies of white-tailed deer in Florida, and altogether there could be anywhere from 500,000 to a full 1-million in the state.
Deer make up a large part of the diet for Florida’s large predators. Bears, panthers, and coyotes all feed on the common cervids. And yes, so do those American alligators Florida is so well known for. Travel down to the furthest tip of the state, and you’ll find crocodiles feeding on them in the Everglades, too. Nature is wild.