Now you see me, now you don’t.
In this unbelievable footage from Naples, Florida, a Florida panther is seen prowling in the background while an innocent rabbit sits near a log on the ground. If you look closely in the first couple of seconds of the video, you can actually see both the panther and the rabbit in the frame.
The Florida panther is seen in the back left of the shot standing between two trees, while the rabbit sits just to the right of the lighter colored tree by the fallen log. You might have to scan it for a second like a “Where’s Waldo” book, but you should be able to see the two wild animals before they enter into a high speed chase.
Florida panthers are often considered “rare sightings” in the sunshine state. Mature panthers typically can be over 6 feet long and stand over 2 feet tall. They usually weigh anywhere between 70 and 150 pounds, depending on the panther’s gender.
This particular panther seems to be a little less mature than one that would be full grown. If it is in fact a younger cat, it would make sense that the rabbit hunt doesn’t go exactly as it was planned.
The big cat stays put right where it is as it watches the small bunny in the brush. It appears that the rabbit’s sixth sense kicks in, because out of nowhere, the rabbit senses danger and takes off running for its life.
As a great hunter does, the Florida panther was ready to pounce and takes off just as soon as the rabbit begins to move. When they both hit their full speed sprints, things get pretty intense.
It appears that the person taking the video was in the perfect spot (and was probably scared just a little bit) as the panther chases the rabbit underneath the same fallen log the small animal had calmly sat by moments before. The Florida panther loses its footing on the pine straw that covers the ground, which gives the rabbit somewhat of a small head start in its escape.
The small animal goes racing by the person holding the camera and the menacing big cat follows closely behind. They both have to have run within inches of the videographer, who appears to try their best to stand still next to the tree as the wildlife encounter occurs.
Once the panther runs past the camera and turns the corner, the rabbit is already long gone. The video shifts to the left to show the Florida panther standing on the wooden walkway, stupefied that it was outsmarted by the small rabbit.
“A Florida panther nearly steps on my feet. I pretend I’m a tree. Thought it might turn out differently there for a second.”
It scans the area with its mouth opened, most likely catching its breath from the unsuccessful chase down. The panther finally accepts defeat and returns to the wooded area from which it came in hopes to get another shot at the pesky, elusive rabbit.
Watch the rabbit pull off the “disappearing act” on the “swamp kitty,” and thankfully, if you happen to miss something the first time around, the back half of the footage is in slow motion: