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Photos by @CarltonWard | Cooperative Bear, Frustrating Panther…That was the title of the blog I wrote about my attempt to camera trap a Florida panther at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in 2015. I was on assignment for @NatGeoTravel and after a month of trying, I had one bear kindly pose facing the camera and one panther show me her tail as she walked away. Frustrating and motivating at the same time, it was like she was daring me to try to tell her story. Three years and two National Geographic grants later, I’m still trying. I now have a network of camera traps (think photo studios hidden in the woods) pointed at game trails on refuges and ranches throughout South Florida for my #pathofthepanther project, which seeks to inspire the land protection needed for the endangered Florida panther to expand its range. I’ve had some successes with panthers over the past three years, but more often than not, my “cooperative bear, frustrating panther” mantra, still applies. Please follow my quest here and @CarltonWard as we focus on the story of the Florida panther and the habitat corridors it needs to recover and help us save wild Florida. The third photo is an alligator that should have been a warning that the water was about to rise. A wet winter, followed by strong summer rains proceeded to flood this trail for the next 18 months. @insidenatgeo @natgeocreative #floridawildlifecorridor #floridawild #keepflwild #panther #bear #gator #alligator #swamp #everglades

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