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"Whether the panther survives or perishes, Fergus has written a book that does it full justice. His narrative is lively and full of anecdotes, some of them eye-openers."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
"As good as, or better than, any book I’ve read in years about the awful and willful ignorance of homo sapiens about the living world."—Farley Mowat, author of Never Cry Wolf
"Charles Fergus [is] a diligent reporter and straightforward writer. . . . You will enjoy [his] descriptions of forays into panther territory."—Kathleen Krog, Miami Herald
The Florida panther is an endangered species, its way of life altered by the spread of suburban culture across the state. In Swamp Screamer, Charles Fergus tracks the fifty or so panthers that survive in Florida, vividly describing the people trying to save these remarkable creatures—including wildlife biologists trying to preserve panther habitat and radical animal lovers who regard the panther as a symbol of their crusade on behalf of nature. Swamp Screamer is a surprising and often comic look at the wildlife movement today; it is also an evocative history of the vanishing wilds of Florida and a deeply affecting portrait of the panthers themselves.
Charles Fergus has written six books, including the novel Shadow Catcher; a collection of essays, The Wingless Crow; and a memoir, A Rough-Shooting Dog. He lives in a stone house that he built himself on a mountainside in central Pennsylvania.
The panther--a.k.a. the puma, the catamount, the cougar, or the mountain lion--is one of the most legendary of American mammals, In Florida, however, it is an endangered species, jeopardized by the culture of subdivisions, highways, and Wal-Marts that cover more and more of the state. In this book, Fergus tracks the 50 or so panthers that survive in Florida and the wildlife biologists who are trying doggedly to save them.