Drawn in by the haunting specter of the Florida panther, a wildlife photographer, veterinarians, ranchers, conservationists, and indigenous people find themselves on the front lines of an accelerating battle between forces of renewal and destruction that have pushed the Everglades to the brink of ecological collapse.
In a struggle resonating across the globe, the panther’s habitat has become an island. Its lush territory transformed into subdivisions. A paradise vanishing into thin air.
Perched on the edge of extinction, the panther is an emblem of our once connected world. A vision of what could be again. Or else, a harbinger, of what could befall our planet, if the ‘Path of the Panther’ becomes a dead end.
CARLTON WARD JR. is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer focused on Florida’s hidden wild.
BETTY OSCEOLA is a Miccosukee Everglades educator, airboat captain, conservationist and clean water advocate.
ELTON LANGFORD is a full-time cattle rancher in Arcadia, Florida and the chairman of the DeSoto Board of County Commissioners.
DR. LARA CUSACK is a panther veterinarian with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
BRIAN KELLY is a panther researcher with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
DR. JEN KORN is a panther biologist. She is also the Education Chair of the Wildlife Society of Florida and adjunct professor at South Florida State College.
DR. LAUREN SMITH is a lead veterinarian at ZooTampa.
DR. DAVE ONARATO is a panther biologist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Behind the Scenes
Camera trapping provides a window into a world that was previously only accessible to researchers or individuals with intimate knowledge of a species or habitat. To capture the never before seen footage in the Path of the Panther film, we created custom forest studios comprised of professional cameras, lights, and an infrared trip wire that allow passing animals to take their own pictures. Through this technology, we’re able to aid wildlife research and conservation and raise awareness of the habitat needed to save Florida wildlife.
Director, Producer, Writer
Eric is an Emmy-winning Storyteller, Director and Producer for Montana-based GRIZZLY CREEK FILMS. His work is motivated by an exploration of connectivity, conflict, intersection, and balance among the human and natural world. He’s led film expeditions to the Florida Everglades, the Grand Canyon, the Great Bear Rainforest, the Alaska Range, and to the farthest point from any road in Yellowstone National Park. His accolades include a Webby, a Wildscreen Panda Award and the Best Broadcast Feature Award from the International Wildlife Film Festival.
Carlton Ward Jr
Carlton is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer focused on Florida’s hidden wild. He founded the Florida Wildlife Corridor project in 2010 and has since trekked 2,000 miles during two National Geographic supported expeditions to advocate for the corridor’s protection. An eighth-generation Floridian, Ward has developed strong connections with conservation organizations, researchers, and landowners. He is now working as an ambassador for the recovery of the Florida panther, a plan that calls for conservation of hundreds of thousands of acres of ranchlands and forests and across Florida.
Tom is the founder and CEO of GRIZZLY CREEK FILMS, an independent production company that has created original series and documentary films for The National Geographic Channel, The Smithsonian Channel, History Channel and PBS. He lives in Montana with his family and proudly serves on the board of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition — an organization committed to healthy lands, water and wildlife in the 20 million acres surrounding the “World’s First National Park”.
Impact Producer, Producer
Tori has made it her mission to bring attention to the protection of our world’s last wild places. Working with the private, public and non profit sectors, she has built a career as a campaign strategist and award winning storyteller, scaling unique conservation and sustainable development initiatives in North America and sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, she serves as Managing Director of the Path of the Panther project.
SIGRID TIEDTKE Executive Producer
TED HADDOCK Executive Producer
HOWARD G. BUFFETT Executive Producer
ERIC BENDICK Director, Producer, Writer, Editor
CARLTON WARD JR. Cinematographer, Producer
THOMAS WINSTON Cinematographer, Producer
TORI LINDER Producer, Impact Producer
JEFF REED Cinematographer, Editor, Graphics
DANNY SCHMIDT Cinematographer, Consulting Producer
DAWSON DUNNING Cinematographer
RICK SMITH Cinematographer
KATIE BRYDEN Cinematographer
SARA MATASICK Additional Cinematographer
NEIL LOSIN Additional Cinematographer
ANDREW HARRISON BROWN Editor
SCOTT STERLING Online Editor, Colorist
ASHLEY SIANA Assistant Editor, Associate Producer
ERIKA SHARE Assistant Editor
PATRICK TORMEY Assistant Editor
KEVIN MATLEY Original music
BRIAN EIMER Sound Editor
MALIA BYRTUS Field Producer, Camera Trap Technician
ALEX FREEZE Field Producer, Camera Trap Technician
LAUREN YOHO Associate Producer, Camera Trap Technician
GEORGE MCKENZIE JR. Camera Trap Technician
SHASTA GRENIER WINSTON Consulting Producer
AVELA GRENIER Consulting Producer
LISA BAYLOR Business Manager
SAVENNA HANLEY Business Manager
The Edward Haddock Family Foundation
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation
The Tiedtke Family
The Dimmitt Family Foundation
The National Geographic Society
The Redford Center
Cho Family Foundation
Ferman Community Advancement Fund
Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Big Cypress National Preserve
Miccosukee Tribe of Florida
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
White Oak Conservation Center
Archbold Biological Station
Buck Island Ranch
Babcock Ranch Preserve
The Nature Conservancy
International League of Conservation Photographers
In loving memory of Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt IV
Wildpath Media is a team of storytellers, explorers, and conservationists on a mission to inspire the appreciation and protection of wild Florida through impactful stories that raise awareness of conservation issues in our state and inspire policy makers, businesses, communities, and citizens to take action.