Sambar deer, Indian civet cat rescued from deep well in Junnar near Pune city

Updated: Jan 07, 2019, 14:55 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune (Maharashtra)

Both the Sambar deer and the Indian civet cat were rescued successfully by members of the Wildlife SOS team and the Maharashtra Forest Department

Wildlife SOS staff trying to safely extricate the deer from the well
Wildlife SOS staff trying to safely extricate the deer from the well

In a strenuous two-hour-long operation, a Sambar deer was rescued from a 25 foot deep well by the Wildlife SOS team & the Maharashtra Forest Department in Vanewadi, located near Junnar, Maharashtra. Once deemed fit by Wildlife SOS veterinarians the animal was released back into the wild.

In an all too familiar scenario in India, that revolves around the perils of uncovered wells in the buffer areas, which mark the transition between forested regions and human habitation, the male Sambar deer was found trapped inside a nearly 25-foot-deep well in Vanewadi, near Junnar, Maharashtra.

Sambar deer rescued
The sambar deer before the rescue

On seeing the deer in danger, concerned locals immediately requested the forest department for help who in turn reached out to Wildlife SOS team at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center in Junnar for assistance. A five-member team of trained rescuers from the NGO expedited a two-hour long journey to reach the location. Equipped with the necessary rescue equipment, the Wildlife SOS’ team advanced the rescue mission, keeping in mind the safety of the animal.

After an assessment of the situation, the terrified deer was first mildly tranquillised and then safely extricated from the deep well with the help of a harness. It took almost two hours for the team to safely conduct the rescue operation. The adult antelope was deemed medically fit to be released back into its natural habitat.

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Dr Ajay Deshmukh, Senior Veterinary Officer at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre said, “The 6-year old Sambar deer was a male and was distressed in its struggle to stay afloat. Thankfully, the deer displayed no external injuries and hence was deemed fit and released back into the wild.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO & Co-founder Wildlife SOS said, “In the last decade around 1,500 animals, including leopards, jackals, jungle cats, sambars and hyenas, have reportedly died after falling into open wells and uncovered water tanks, making it a growing threat to wildlife in Maharashtra. Wildlife SOS’ team, in the past 15 days, has rescued a wild sloth bear, a leopard and an Indian civet cat from drowning in an uncovered well. We must work closely with the local communities to address this problem before it escalates and becomes a threat to human lives as well.”

The Indian civet cat stuck inside the well

In a similar incident, an Indian Civet Cat was rescued from drowning in a 20-foot deep well in Khamgaon village, Junnar, Maharashtra. The locals intimated the team at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, which resorted to its immediate aid. The civet was extricated from the well with the help of a transport cage and was released back into the wild once deemed fit.

Ajit Shinde, Range Forest Officer, Junnar said, “On intimation of the Sambar in distress, we immediately reached out to Wildlife SOS. The operation was undertaken with immense caution to evade any injuries to the deer. We applaud the work carried out by the Wildlife SOS team and look forward to working together for better management of man-animal conflict situations.

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