Pune-based NGO reunites leopard cubs with moms

May 10, 2015, 08:30 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

NGO Wildlife SOS rescues and treats four leopard cubs with minor burn injuries found at a sugarcane field near Junnar

In most cases rescued leopard cubs spend their lives in the confines of cages at rescue centres. However, on the occasion of Mother’s Day here is the story of an NGO that not only helps in rescuing leopards but till date has reunited around fifteen cubs with their mothers. 

The rescued cubs. Pic courtesy/wildlifesos

Last Sunday, four leopard cubs were found in a sugarcane field near Junnar and some of these had minor burn injuries. Wildlife SOS, an NGO, not only rescued the cubs but also treated them and left them in the same area the next day. When the mother came looking for her cubs at around 3 am, she found them and took them away
with her.

In many cases, abandoned cubs are taken away by the Forest Department office to the nearest rescue centre where they are medically examined. Post this at times the cubs often spend the rest of their lives inside the cage. As efforts to reunite cubs with their mothers decreases, the survival rate of such cubs too drops.

In the past, around four leopard cubs that were brought to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) from Akole had died despite all the care rendered to them by the forest department officials. Last Sunday, when the local villagers set fire to a dry patch of the sugarcane field as a routine procedure, they saw four leopard cubs coming out of the field. The villagers immediately informed the forest department who rescued the cubs near the sugarcane field in Shelkemala village under the Narayangaon Range of Forest Department near Junnar. And within 24-hours the cubs were reunited with their mother.

Speaking to mid-day, veterinary doctor Ajay Deshmukh from the Wildlife SOS team that was in charge of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center situated near Junnar, said, “On Sunday morning we got a call from the Range Forest Officer S N Bansode who informed us that there were four leopard cubs of around two months that have been found near the sugarcane field. Our team immediately reached the location and we rescued them. We then brought them to the rescue center where their medical examination was done. The cubs had no deep burn injuries but some superficial ones, which we treated. As the cubs were healthy and active we decided to reunite the cubs with their mother.” At around 7.30 pm the cubs were taken to the same location from where they were found and kept in a plastic crate. In order to check the activity of their mother, a camera trap was set. “At around 9 pm we sighted the female searching for her cubs. At around 3 am she found her cubs and one by one took them with her. Till date we have united close to 15 cubs,” added Dr Deshmukh.

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