It's always sad when an endangered Florida panthers dies. But there's a silver a lining to the most recent death of Florida Panther 79, better-known as Don Juan.
Simply put, Don Juan got a whole lot of tail over his nearly 17-year-long life. But as the News-Press
reports, the virile stud had to be put down due to cancer.
So how much action did he see out in the wild? Enough to actually be detrimental to the panther gene pool.
Don Juan was like the Shawn Kemp of panthers, siring 47 kittens throughout his life. But that's not necessarily a good thing.
Dave Onorato, an associate research scientist with the FWC, actually wishes that Don Juan hadn't been so successful. "There's a downside to prolific breeding by one male. From a biologist's perspective, you'd rather have the genetic diversity of six males siring 40 kittens versus one male siring 40 kittens," Onorato said.
The cat was also apparently a badass who didn't care about private property laws. He was suspected of devouring a domestic turkey a few years back. Eventually, wildlife officials had to move the beast from the wild into captivity because he was getting too close to humans for comfort.
He did a two-year stint at Busch Gardens (he must have been so blue-balled by the end of that stay) before getting moved down to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where he apparently had access to a 9-year-old female panther
Rest in peace, Don Juan. Your legacy certainly lives on.