A 13-week-old leopard cub was rescued on Wednesday near a village in Parner, Maharashtra. In a rescue-and-conservation effort by the Wildlife SOS and Forest department on Wednesday, the lost cub was reunited with its mother and siblings.
According to local residents, a leopard had given birth to three cubs outside Wadegavhan village in Parner, in Ahmednagar district. Local residents said they would catch occasional glimpses of the leopards outside the village but they always tried their best to keep distance from the big cats to avoid any form of conflict. On Wednesday afternoon, however, one of the cubs wandered far away from its siblings and ventured into the village. A farmer spotted the cub outside his sugarcane field and alerted the Forest department. Range Forest Officer Manisha Bhinge immediately reached out to the Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar for assistance, a statement issued Wednesday said.
A four-member team, led by Wildlife SOS senior veterinarian Ajay Deshmukh, drove to the village located nearly 90 km from the rescue centre, accompanied by a team of forest officers. In hopes of reuniting the lost male cub with its family, the team placed it in a safe box and installed a remote-controlled camera to document the reunion process. After a few hours, the mother leopard emerged from the neighbouring forest and reunited with the cub.
Deshmukh said, “In order to survive in the wild and learn the survival skills, it is crucial for leopard cubs to be reared by their mothers for the first two years of their lives. It is also immensely rewarding for us to know that the cub will now have a chance at a free life in the wild along with its siblings.”
Bhinge said: “The Shirur region has a significant leopard population and due to rapid loss of forest cover, these animals have found safe cover in the dense sugarcane fields. It’s reassuring to know that the reunited cub will be raised in the wild by its mother.”