A woman in Florida had a rare and amazing close encounter with one of the most endangered mammals on the planet ‒ a Florida panther ‒ while out on an early morning stroll.

There are fewer than 100 such big cats left in the wild, according to conservationists at the National Wildlife Federation.

The species of cougar has never attacked a human in the state of Florida, but that doesn’t mean that meeting the animal, which can reach 7 feet long and feasts on deer, is not a terrifying experience.

Tina Dorschel was exploring the sights at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary when she inadvertently found herself on the same nature path as the razor-toothed cat. Stopping dead in her tracks, Dorschel can be heard on camera repeatedly saying “oh my God,” as she no doubt wonders whether the large cougar will launch an attack, swiping with its beastly claws.

However, the animal appears unused to human contact and runs off at pace past the startled hiker. “This gorgeous Florida panther seems to have unexpectedly found himself cornered while travelling around a corner on the boardwalk and quickly sped up to get away,” the swamp owners posted on Facebook. “Panthers are shy creatures and this kind of encounter was a lucky and extremely rare experience.”


Responses to "Florida woman comes face-to-face with rare panther on nature trail "

  1. pilvikki says:

    too cool!

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  3. Unknown says:

    How serendipitous that the photographer just happened to be filming the boardwalk, and didn't jump or leap in startled shock? I know my startle reflex would have me 6 inches off the ground! :)

  4. Andrew Dube says:

    This was totally awesome but scary

  5. Maggie says:

    lol i would have said the same thing

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