In order to ensure that the animal did not drown, a team of villagers lowered a metallic plank into the well before proper help could arrive.
A male leopard about four years old was rescued from a 35-foot-deep well by the Maharashtra Forest Department and non-profit organisation Wildlife SOS at Narayanwadi in Pune district’s Junnar following an operation that lasted over two hours. The animal was kept under observation for a few days and later released back into the wild.
Dr Nikhil Bangar, Veterinary Officer of Wildlife SOS, said the animal was placed under close observation “while he recuperated from this stressful ordeal. Fortunately, he had not sustained any severe injuries and was safely released back into the wild.”
The leopard was first spotted late Thursday night by local residents who heard rumbling noises in the well. Upon inspection, they were shocked to find a leopard struggling to climb out of the deep well. The residents immediately contacted the forest department. Wildlife SOS, which operates out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, was also called in for reinforcements.
In order to ensure that the big cat did not drown, a team of village rescuers trained by Wildlife SOS and the forest department lowered a metallic plank into the well. Relieved to find a dry surface, the distressed leopard climbed onto it.
Upon arrival, the four-member rescue team from Wildlife SOS, along with forest officials, meticulously lowered a trap cage into the well to extricate the animal. The leopard leapt into the cage which was subsequently pulled up and transported to the Manikdoh Centre for medical observation.
“The expansive sugarcane fields make Narayanwadi a leopard-prone area. Leopards often come here to hunt and unintentionally fall into these open wells,” said Ajit Shinde, Range Forest Officer.
Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO of Wildlife SOS, pointed out that the open wells in Maharashtra have been a constant threat to leopards. “Unsuspecting animals fall into these wells and gravely injure themselves or even die due to drowning, starvation or injuries. These rescue operations need to be carried out swiftly and with caution by trained professionals. We are grateful to the village rescue team that acted promptly and alerted the concerned authorities.”
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