Feb 24, 2023 - Things to Do

"Path of the Panther" debuts across Florida

A Florida panther walks near a fence and highway.

Photo: Courtesy of Carlton Ward Jr.

To save the Florida panther, National Geographic Society photographer Carlton Ward Jr. first needed to capture the elusive cat β€” not with a cage, but a camera.

  • If people could see the beautiful beast's dangerous migration through an obstacle course of South Florida roads and buildings, they'd be more likely to protect what's left of the wilderness, he thought.

πŸ† Driving the news: "Path of the Panther," the Davis Islands resident's yearslong effort to document the endangered animal's perilous journey north, debuts today in more than 40 theaters across Florida, with help from executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor and activist.

  • Watch the trailer here. Local showtimes on Fandango.
  • After its theatrical release, the film will air on National Geographic and stream on Disney+.

Background: Ward and friends have been active in establishing the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a tapestry of protected wilderness paths that give animals the ability to roam the peninsula.

Of note: Ward and Emmy-winning director Eric Bendick will be at Tampa Theatre after the screenings tonight and Sunday to take questions from the audience.

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