Leopard rescued from 40-ft-deep well in Pune district
Mumbai: A male leopard who had fallen into a 40-feet-deep well in Junnar taluka (Pune district) was rescued from drowning after a two-hour-long operation on Monday by non-profit conservation group Wildlife SOS, along with the Maharashtra forest department.
Residents in Vadgaon Kandali village alerted the forest department about the incident on Monday, after hearing the animal’s distressed cries. A four-member team of rescuers was immediately dispatched to the spot. The animal was brought to safety after rescuers lowered a trap cage into the well. Those involved in the effort said that the animal, who was struggling to stay afloat in the well, sensed that this was its only chance of survival.
After being lifted out of the well, the leopard was transferred to Wildlife SOS’s Leopard Rescue Centre for medical examination. Officials estimated the animal to be about five-year-old, and said that he will be kept under observation at the rescue and rehabilitation centre in Junnar for a few days.
Dr Nikhil Bangar, wildlife veterinary officer, Wildlife SOS, said, “While the leopard was struggling to claw its way out of the well, he sustained minor abrasions at the nail region. We will keep the leopard under observation while he recuperates from this stressful ordeal.”
Kartick Satyanarayan of Wildlife SOS, said, “The entire exercise had to be executed quickly and with painstaking care. We are grateful to the forest department for making the rescue a success. The startling increasing rate of habitat encroachment has resulted in decreasing prey base, territory and water sources for predator species like leopards that are then forced to come out into human habitation. Since these elusive cats usually prefer to move around at night, it is common for them to fall victim to uncovered wells.”
Yogesh Ghodke, regional forest officer, said, “We suspect that the leopard had fallen into the well at night while on the prowl for food. The leopard is currently under temporary observation at the Wildlife SOS centre.”