Pune: Pair of leopard cubs go home to mother in Junnar

Updated: Nov 28, 2017, 19:59 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

A pair of eight-week-old leopard cubs was safely reunited with their mother in a successful operation carried out by a wildlife rescue NGO and the forest department on the outskirts of Ranjani village near Junnar, Maharashtra

A pair of eight-week-old leopard cubs was safely reunited with their mother in a successful operation carried out by a wildlife rescue NGO and the forest department on the outskirts of Ranjani village near Junnar, Maharashtra.

The cubs, a male and a female, were found in the sugarcane field. After their rescue, NGO Wildlife SOS’ in-house veterinarian Dr Ajay Deshmukh examined the pets for ticks and injuries. Once the cubs were found to be healthy and fit for release, wildlife officials began the search for the mother.

Forest officials and NGO help reunite eight-week-old cubs with their mother

The team then tracked the mother based on her pugmarks. “The two cubs were carefully placed in a safe box and taken back to the field so that the female leopard could find them," said Prajyot Palave, range forest officer, Junnar.

The cubs were eventually reunited with their mother. "Such reunions are of great importance in order to curb conflict situations. If female leopards are unable to locate their cubs, it is natural for them to turn aggressive. They, then pose an immediate threat to humans in close proximity. It is also immensely rewarding to know that these cubs will now have a chance at a free life in the wild," said Deshmukh.

This is the third incident this month, where farmers in the village discovered leopard in the vicinity of the village.

With the onset of the harvest season in the state, it is not uncommon for farmers to be exposed to young leopard cubs taking shelter in sugarcane fields. The tall sugarcane fields provide safe cover for leopards to give birth and to rear their young. However, this also gives rise to conflict situations, said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS. “We have been creating awareness among the local communities to encourage tolerance towards these majestic cats, as well as to mitigate conflict.”

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