Rare encounter with endangered Florida panther captured on video

Tina Dorschel was out on a morning nature walk at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples when she came upon a an incredibly rare Florida panther. Or rather, the endangered species breezed right by her on a boardwalk on Monday.

“This gorgeous ‪#‎Floridapanther‬ seems to have unexpectedly found himself cornered while traveling around a corner on the boardwalk — and quickly sped up to get away. Panthers are shy creatures and this kind of encounter was a lucky and extremely rare experience,” the sanctuary noted on Facebook, posting the “amazing video.”



Or, as Dorschel put it:

“On on early morning nature walk we saw a gator, a snake, frogs, pretty birds, and had this unexpected encounter. (Warning…curse word at end!)”




In just a few days, the 16-second video has been viewed almost 4 million times. And just like that, the big cat was gone.




The Florida panther once roamed the southeastern U.S., but is now isolated to southern Florida with a population of 100 to 160 individuals. Just 20 years ago, the species numbered perhaps 20 or 30.

Through the 13,000-acre sanctuary, the National Audubon Society aims to protect Florida’s native wildlife and habitat.

Photos Tina Dorschel/Facebook




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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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