What do panthers eat?

Answer
Based on the provided search results, panthers primarily prey on the following animals:
  • Deer (white-tailed deer make up 22% of their diet) 12
  • Wild hogs (21% of their diet) 1
  • Raccoons (24% of their diet) 1
  • Smaller mammals like rabbits, armadillos, opossums, rodents12
  • Birds (1% of their diet) 1
  • Domesticated animals like goats, sheep, calves in areas where available (small part of diet) 1
The search results provide detailed information on the panther's hunting behavior and diet composition from studies analyzing their scats, stomach contents, and prey remains:
  • Panthers stalk and ambush their prey, rushing short distances to pounce and kill with a bite to the neck1
  • They often cache large kills like deer by covering the carcass and returning to feed on it over several days1
  • After a kill, they eat the heart, liver, lungs and muscle masses, breaking and chewing large bones1
  • Smaller prey like raccoons and rabbits are usually consumed entirely1
In summary, while able to take a variety of prey, the core diet of the Florida panther consists primarily of deer, wild hogs and raccoons which make up around 70% of what they consume based on the studies cited. 12
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