A rescue team managed to save the life of an endangered leopard after it almost drowned at the bottom of a well 60 feet deep.
The rescue team lowered a wooden log so the three-year-old female Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) could stay afloat before a box trap was slowly dropped down in a rescue operation that took over three hours.
Exhausted by her efforts to save herself from drowning, the leopard voluntarily entered the trap, after which she was carefully taken out of the village well.
A local farmer had heard the animal’s roars from deep inside his village well near Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
He looked down and spotted the leopard, and decided to call the State Forest Department. Workers at the department then warned the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, run by the NGO Wildlife SOS.
After the rescue, a rigorous physical examination took place and the experts of the Leopard Rescue Centre decided the animal could be released as she did not sustain any injuries.
Ramesh Kharmale, a forester working in the district in which the leopard was found, explained that there are a lot of open wells in his district. He said: “Most of them do not have proper nets, so there is always a risk that animals get trapped inside such wells.”
There are only an estimated 12,000 to 14,000 Indian leopards left in the country and the species has been categorised as “Near Threatened” (NT) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
They are struggling as much of their natural habitat is being rapidly deforested and because of this an increasing number of human-leopard encounters are taking place, sometimes with more tragic outcomes.
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