Mumbai: No mom for SGNP cub, it may spend life at leopard rehab centre

Updated: Dec 15, 2019, 07:27 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Forest department officials abandon attempt to find mother of abandoned leopard as area shows no signs of cat activity

The first night that the cub was kept in a basket, a leopard walked past the plastic crate in which the cub was, but paid no attention to it
The first night that the cub was kept in a basket, a leopard walked past the plastic crate in which the cub was, but paid no attention to it

As the mother of the cub found in Yeoor has not come to take it away, and camera traps have not been able to record any activity of a female leopard in the area, SGNP officials have suspended hopes of a reunion, which also means that the cub might have to spend the rest of his life in a cage. An SGNP official said, "Our team did its best to reunite the cub with its mother but got no success. Currently, the cub is at SGNP where veterinarians are monitoring its health."

Last week as well, the reunion attempt was temporarily suspended as the health of the cub became critical and the forest department had even installed several camera traps in and around the area where the cub was found to see if there was a female leopard trying to locate her cub. They have now called off the plan fearing the cub will fall ill again. This also means that the less than a month old cub might have to spend his life at the Leopard Rescue and Rehabilitation centre at SGNP.

Officials feel that the female might have not come for the cub because she might have abandoned it. It's also possible that the cub was picked up from outside the Yeoor forest and, fearing action from the forest department, the person abandoned the cub, who was later found by morning walkers in the area. It may be noted that the cub, found on December 4, was found barely 25 metres away from the road in Yeoor. This road is used by scores of morning walkers and as the day progresses, there is heavy vehicular traffic.

SGNP Veterinary Officer Dr Shailesh Pethe said, "The cub is a juvenile. And its reunion with the mother is of paramount importance. The cub was crying constantly and human ears could hear its cries till 500 metres away. Yet the mother did not turn up. However, the cold ambient temperatures did take a toll on the cub. He developed chest congestion and hypothermia." He added that two more attempts were made without success.

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