Updated: October 22, 2021 5:26:19 pm
Forest Department officials and Wildlife SOS jointly rescued a male leopard which fell into an open well at Belsar village in Pune district’s Junnar tehsil. The animal is currently under observation at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre.
The approximately seven-year-old leopard was found trapped in the open well on Thursday. The incident comes just weeks after another leopard was rescued from a 35-foot-deep well in Junnar’s Narayanwadi village.
The animal was paddling to stay afloat and was at risk of drowning in the 10-foot-deep water. Concerned, a local farmer immediately alerted the Forest Department. Non-profit organisation Wildlife SOS, operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, was also called in for reinforcements.
A three-member rescue team led by its veterinary officer Dr Nikhil Bangar accompanied a team of forest officers to the location with rescue equipment. A trap cage was lowered into the well later on Thursday to safely extricate the leopard which was then taken to the rescue centre for medical observation.
Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, Kartick Satyanarayan said, “This is the second incident recently in which we have assisted the Forest Department in the timely rescue of a leopard from an uncovered well. The issue cannot be taken lightly. It is not just leopards – a species protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 – that are vulnerable due to these wells, but also several other species that may fall into it accidentally, with potentially fatal results.”
Meanwhile, Range Forest Officer Ajit Shinde said such incidents were becoming increasingly common across Junnar. “Leopards often fall prey to open wells while on foraging trips. We have advised the villagers to take precautionary measures by covering up open wells.”
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