She could have reached out and touched it.
That’s how close Tina Dorschel was to the Florida panther that nearly brushed her leg as it charged past, speeding down a boardwalk in Florida’s 13,000-acre Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
Luckily, Dorschel was filming her early morning walk when the adrenaline-pumping close encounter happened – somehow, she even managed to keep the camera steady as the panther rushed by.
“On (an) early morning nature walk we saw a gator, a snake, frogs, pretty birds, and had this unexpected encounter. (Warning…curse word at end!),” Dorschel wrote in the comments of her Facebook video.
Her post has since been shared more than 15,000 times since it went up Tuesday.
“Panthers are shy creatures and this kind of encounter was a lucky and extremely rare experience,” the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary posted on its Facebook page. The preserve is dedicated to researching and protecting animals in the Western Everglades.