Panther attacks man from behind

Shocking footage of a giant panther sneaking up on a man with his back turned to it at an animal sanctuary in Mexico was recently released.

At first it looks like the man is doomed.

Resting easily against a wall in an animal sanctuary enclosure, the Mexican man chats happily in Spanish as a black panther - hundreds of pounds of sleek muscle, claw and tooth - creeps silently up on him.

Just as the big cat coils to pounce, the man spins around and starts laughing and playing with the animal, who he refers to as one of his ‘babies’.

The easygoing prey spins around, surprising the animal.

Man versus beast, the two grapple. He breaks away, leaping out of the jaguar's path. Finally, the jaguar puts its face up to the man's, jaws open, fangs as big as fingers popping out.

The video, which was posted to Instagram Saturday by user @Bofokaram, continues with the man and panther tussling with one another, the big cat grabbing him playfully with its powerful paws and jaw.

The man - Eduardo Serio - taunts the cat into chasing him then jumps up onto the grassy verge behind, the creature gracefully leaping up behind him.

He jumps down again and gives the animal a kiss on its nose, ducking back as it swipes at him and bares its teeth.

Incredibly he goes in for a kiss again, and again, and it becomes clear that he was never in any serious danger as the panther begins to lick his face.

Then he gives the panther a friendly push away and it settles on the grass behind him, content - for now - just to watch him.

The jaguar, it turns out is named Kal-El - Superman's birth name - and he is one of Serio's 'kids', the name the Mexican man gives to the animals he cares for in his animal sanctuary.

Serio runs The Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, which cares for unwanted and abandoned big cats, and fights to overturn laws that make breeding the creatures legal in Mexico.

At present, Serio's 'kids' - which also include lions, tigers and lynxes - number in the hundreds, and occupy a 30-acre plot.