This weekend the Times is publishing the first in a series of reports by Pittman on another endangered species, the Florida panther. Pittman tells me that he's been working on the panther project for two years.
The Florida panther is in worse shape than ever. Although there are now 100 of them, thanks to a bold genetic experiment in 1995, the panthers are crowded into a smaller area than ever. Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have never blocked any development that wipes out panther habitat, even manipulating numbers and using flawed science to justify saying yes to projects. As a result, genetic defects and other problems are now cropping up, leading to predictions that the state animal is just a dead cat walking.Click here to read Pittman's first installment on the plight of the Florida panther.
Jeff Klinkenberg - Pittman's colleague at the Times - covers what he calls "the real Florida" for the paper.
This weekend "Klink" has a story in the paper about Cleatis Kelly, a man who has a taste for venison. He was deer hunting in Ocala National Forest when he experienced bad luck: He got hopelessly lost. He also was favored by some good luck: The state sent a wildlife officer -- and a remarkable dog -- to look for him.
Click here to read Klink's story about Bubba, the wonder dog!