March 8, 2021 10:16:34 pm
Three leopard cubs were rescued recently by Wildlife SOS and the state Forest department from a sugarcane field in Vadgaon Kandali village, located in Otur forest range of Junnar in Pune district.
The 8-week-old cubs were kept under observation for a few hours and later successfully reunited with their mother.
The sugarcane harvest season happens to coincide with the breeding season of these big cats and female leopards rely heavily on the tall crop to shield their offspring from predators and human intervention.
Yogesh Ghodake, Range Forest Officer of Otur, said, “Such encounters are reported more frequently during pre-harvest and harvest seasons.
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On Sunday, sugarcane farmers in Vadgaon Kandali village stumbled upon three tiny leopard cubs while harvesting their crops. Most farmers are familiar with the leopard presence in this region, so they immediately alerted members of the village rescue team, trained by the Maharashtra Forest department and Wildlife SOS.
In the meantime, two rescue units from Wildlife SOS and the Forest department rushed to the location with the necessary equipment and medical kits to conduct on-site examination of the cubs. Veterinary officer at Wildlife SOS, Dr Nikhil Bangar, identified them as one female and two males, estimated to be about 8-weeks-old.
After their health examination, the team arranged for the cubs to be reunited with their mother and went back to the field where they were found. As the team stood close-by and hidden, within 30 minutes, a female leopard emerged from the sugarcane field. After gently knocking off the cover from the safe box, she picked up her cubs one after the other by the scruff of the neck and relocated to a safer area.
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