MIAMI
01/18/2012 09:16 am ET Updated Mar 19, 2012

Panther Or Coyote Suspected Of Terrorizing Davie Neighborhood (WATCH)

Is it a large black cat, a panther, a coyote? Whatever form it takes, there's a wild animal stalking a Davie neighborhood.

"This thing is huge," homeowner Lori Gress Friedberg told WSVN7. She witnessed the large animal attack a stray cat in her backyard.

When trapper Robert Leach arrived, he found scratch marks on a tree that indicated that the animal's paws were just a bit smaller than his own hand. Watch the report above.

Last December, a panther killed a pregnant race horse in Collier County, Florida. A year earlier, panthers were thought to be responsible for a rash of calf-killings in Immokalee, Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that there are up to 160 panthers living in Florida.

According to the FWC document, Living with Panthers, there has never been an account of a panther, Florida's state animal, attacking a human.

But they also note that as the population of South Florida grows, so does the chance of encountering one of these animals.

If you do come across a panther, FWC recommends the following:
1. Pick up any small children.
2. Give the panther space to escape.
3. Do not run which could stimulate a panther's instinct to chase.
4. Make eye contact.
5. Avoid crouching of bending over. Doing so will make you resemble a prey-sized animal.
6. Appear larger by opening jackets of raising your arms.
7. Fight back if attacked.

Watch the FWC Panther Project Team tag and collar a Florida Panther in the below video:

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