A Wisconsin woman was enjoying the tranquility of the Corkscrew Swamp in the western Everglades this past Monday when a dazzling encounter with a Florida panther left her breathless.
Tina Dorschel was stunned — but still had the presence of mind to film the rare cat as it ran right past her on a narrow boardwalk during an early morning nature stroll.
Dorschel, from Madison, posted the video on her Facebook page. In it, she is heard saying “Oh, my God!...Oh, my God!!...Oh, my God!!!..Oh, my God!!!! before blurting a “Holy (BLEEP)!” as the panther dashes past her.
The video had been shared 37,762 times as of this morning.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which bills itself as Home to Earth’s Largest Ancient Virgin Bald Cypress Forest, doesn’t mind the publicity.
It posted the video on its Facebook page, calling it AMAZING.
Florida panthers are an endangered species that was nearly wiped out before protections were instituted. There are believed to be about 160 of them roaming the wild.
For the record, Dorschel also saw a gator, a snake, frogs and “pretty birds” during her walk on the wild side.