For Keep Martin Beautiful, "Path of the Panther" is "What to Watch"

Posted on March 12, 2023

You know how you get eblasts and Google alerts making suggestions for what you should watch on TV?  Well Keep Martin Beautiful has a film for you - and everyone who cares about Florida’s natural environment.

It’s called “Path of the Panther”- a thrilling story of survival, starring (wait for it) the Florida panther!

At one time the panther was an icon for the state of Florida - a beautiful, tenacious creature that roamed throughout Florida and the southeastern United States. Now, it symbolizes the plight of endangered species, the destruction of wildlife habitats, and the environmental peril that faces both humans and animals.

Carlton Ward Jr., ( renowned National Geographic wildlife photographer, and his production team set their sights and their cameras on tracking a panther through the few areas along the Gulf Coast where the animal still roams. While the images he captured are stunningly beautiful, the message is frightening - we’ve destroyed so much of its native habitat that the panther is now on the critical list.

Carlton isn’t despairing, though. He believes we can still save the remaining panthers, their wildlife habitats and our collective future. His film is one way to focus public attention on the issue and promote wildlife conservation measures.

Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio among others, the film ran in movie theaters in February and is now streaming on Disney+.

The film gives us positive steps to take, like increasing the acres set aside for the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The conservation of lands along this corridor, running from north to south in the state, preserves the native habitat for the panther and also for other species of birds and animals that depend on open spaces and room to roam and forage.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in Martin County will get a rare close-up and personal immersion in Path of the Panther this summer, when an exhibit featuring Carlton and fellow wildlife photography Mac Stone comes to the Elliott Museum in July.

Keep Martin Beautiful friends and supporters already know Carlton’s work. He has been featured in National Geographic, won awards nationally and internationally for his wildlife photography, and been the featured photographer in the Florida Ranches Calendar for the past eighteen years, proudly published by The Firefly Group. He has worked tirelessly to explain and expand the Florida Wildlife Corridor. “Path of the Panther” makes the case once again, visually and emotionally.

Keep Martin Beautiful is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Martin County through litter prevention and waste reduction, beautification and community improvement, and environmental stewardship education. So why are we suddenly movie critics?

Because, as Carlton says, we’re all on the front lines of caring for the earth, its inhabitants, and its future.  We owe it to our ourselves and future generations to know - and to act.

We hope you’ll put “Path of the Panther” on your list of “What to Watch.”  And we’ll see you at the Elliott Museum this summer!  For more information about Keep Martin Beautiful visit or send us an email

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