A female leopard was rescued in a three-and-a-half hour operation from a 50-foot well in Parner taluka, Ahmednagar district on Saturday.
Officials from the Ahmednagar forest department said the two-and-a-half-year-old leopard was rescued from one well, only to fall into another during the operation by forest officials at Padali Aale village.
Around 11.30am, forest officials rescued the leopard from a 30-feet well located at one end of the village, with the help of a trap cage at the mouth of the well and a path for the big cat to climb up. However, instead of entering the trap cage, the young leopard leaped and made a run, injuring a forest official in the process. “Locals started chasing the leopard out of the village. But just 500m away from the first well, the leopard slipped and fell into a 50-feet deep well,” said a forest official.
“The leopard was in distress, we found her desperately clinging onto one side of the well to prevent herself from drowning,” said Ramesh Ghodpade, local.
Soon after, the forest department informed the rescue team from Wildlife SOS’ (nationwide animal rescue NGO) Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, Junnar. A four-member rescue team, led by senior veterinarian Dr Ajay Deshmukh, reached the spot and began rescue operations immediately to save the leopard using a trap cage to lift her up.
“The leopard was in a state of shock and to avoid causing any stress to the animal we called an excavator machine that lowered the trap cage into the well,” said Deshmukh adding, She was taken to Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre for observation and was released in its natural habitat within 24 hours.