Leopard rescued from 70-feet deep well

Leopard rescued from 70-feet deep well

The leopard was rescued by Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest Department (MFD)

A picture of the rescued leopard. Credit: Special Arrangement

In a difficult operation, a leopard, trapped in a 70-feet deep well in Junnar sub-division of Pune district, was rescued on Saturday.

The leopard was rescued by Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest Department (MFD) and is currently under medical observation.

A local farmer of Ballalwadi village in Junnar, first spotted the leopard near a field in the early hours of the morning. He decided to steer clear of the wild animal’s path but a few minutes later, he heard frantic roars echoing from a nearby well.

As it turned out, the leopard had fallen into a 70-feet deep well and was struggling to stay afloat in the water.

The incident was immediately reported to the MFD and the Wildlife SOS team.

A three-member rescue team, led by Wildlife SOS veterinary officer Nikhil Bangar, accompanied a team of forest officers to the location with necessary rescue equipment.

Villagers flocked around the well to catch a glimpse of the leopard and hence, crowd control measures were implemented.

A trap-cage was then lowered into the well and after a few attempts, the leopard successfully climbed into the trap-cage and was rescued from a near death situation.

After being carefully loaded on to the back of the Wildlife SOS rescue vehicle, the leopard was transferred to the Leopard Rescue Centre for medical examination, according to a press release.

Bangar said the  leopard is a male, a little over a year old. “The animal is exhausted from the ordeal and will be kept under observation for a few days till it is deemed fit for release,” he added.

Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder & CEO, Wildlife SOS, said, “Leopards adapt to surviving around human dominated landscapes which brings them into close contact with humans leading to such situations. We were able to assist the Forest Department with timely intervention to save the leopard’s life.”

Jayaramegowda R, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Junnar said, “Rescue operations involving leopards can be dangerous and need careful planning in order to ensure the safety of the animal as well as of the people.”

Maharashtra has a stronghold for the leopard population in India but over the years, these elusive wild cats that once roamed freely across the vast terrains of the Western Ghats have had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape; a direct result of human induced factors like habitat destruction, rapid urbanisation and encroachment of forest areas.