A leopard struggling to stay afloat in a 50-feet deep well has been rescued in the nick of time thanks to a swift operation involving volunteers and Forest officials in Parner tehsil of Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. The male big cat was rescued from the well in Alkuti village after a three-hour operation on Monday morning involving members of Wildlife SOS, officials of the state forest department, and villagers. A farmer had spotted the leopard paddling helplessly to stay afloat in the well in Alkuti village on Monday morning. He immediately alerted the forest department. A team of Wildlife SOS, an NGO working for the protection of wildlife, operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center was also called in for reinforcements, a Wildlife SOS release said.
With the help of villagers, a team of Forest officers lowered a metal crate into the well so that the leopard could clamber onto it for temporary support, it said.
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“A trap cage was lowered into the well to safely extricate the leopard which leapt into the trap cage and was carefully pulled up. The leopard was taken into a nearby forest,” the release stated.
The official said, “The leopard was approximately 7 years old. The entire exercise had to be quickly executed with painstaking care. We are grateful to the forest department and villagers for making this rescue a success.”
Pratap Jagtap, Range Forest Officer (Parner), on Tuesday said that leopards adapt to surviving around human-dominated landscapes, bringing them into close contact with humans leading to such situations.
“We are glad the animal was unhurt and was able to return to its natural habitat,” he said.