First-time visitor, Jeanne Swope from the Philadelphia area, was visiting the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida when she came within meters of a Florida panther.
— Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (@CorkscrewSwamp) March 17, 2021
Jeanne said she had been visiting family on Sanibel Island, and heard about the sanctuary so she decided to go for a visit. As she was enjoying a walk along the boardwalk, she heard the panther trotting towards her and she looked up to see it through the trees.
The panther stopped after it realized it was not alone on the boardwalk and contemplated whether to turn around or not. In the meantime, Jeanne was pulling out her phone to capture a video of the beautiful creature.
Right when she started recording, the panther made up its mind that it wasn’t going to go back or forward, but instead, jump off the boardwalk to get away in the marshy swamp below.
“What an amazing experience! We need to conserve more land and preserve habitat in this world,” Jeanne told FOX4.
Jeanne was not the only one to spot the panther. Florida wildlife officials say that sightings of Florida panthers are rather unusual, however, there have been multiple reports recently.
For those who’d like to visit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and see the beauty of the boardwalk, it will be open every day from 8am to 3pm. Tickets can be purchased on their website.