Two leopard cubs rescued from 15 feet water tank in Maharashtra

Updated: May 10, 2019, 14:10 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

The pair was found trapped inside a nearly 15-foot-deep water tank, behind a poultry farm in Gulunchwadi village

Two leopard cubs rescued from 15 feet water tank in Maharashtra
The 2 leopard cubs that were trapped. Pics Courtesy/ Wildlife SOS

In a two-hour long operation, a pair of 9-month-old male leopards were rescued from a nearly 15-foot-deepwater tank by the Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest Department outside Gulunchwadi village located in Belhe, Junnar.

Earlier this week, a late-night phone call from Range Forest Officer BapuYele alerted the Wildlife SOS team that manages the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center in Junnar that two young leopards were caught in a stressful situation. The pair was found trapped inside a nearly 15-foot-deep water tank, behind a poultry farm in Gulunchwadi village.

The team that helped rescue the cubs
The team that helped rescue the cubs

A five-member team of trained rescuers from the NGO along with a group of forest officers rushed to carry out the rescue mission. After assessing the situation, they decided to lower an extendable ladder into the tank, so the cubs could easily climb out on their own. The team also set up safety nets around the area as a security measure.

Upon taking a closer look, Wildlife SOS veterinarian, Dr. Ajay Deshmukh confirmed that the leopards were both males, approximately 9 months old. Though initially apprehensive of the ladder, the cubs soon realised that it was the only way out of the water tank. In a few swift moves, they managed to successfully climb out on their own and immediately ran off in search of safe cover.

Dr. Ajay Deshmukh, Senior Veterinarian at the Wildlife SOS Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center said, "Wild animals are not accustomed to human contact, and often completely unaware of it. To avoid causing any additional stress to the leopards, we thought that it is best to aid them into finding their own way out of the water tank, with the help of the ladder. We are grateful to the villagers for their cooperation and to the Forest Department for making this rescue mission a success."

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said, "As their habitat continues to shrink, leopards in Junnar are forced out of their natural habitat and into human habitation, repeatedly bringing them into conflict with humans, or finding themselves in perilous situations. Wildlife SOS works closely with the Forest Department by taking timely measures to tackle such incidents."

BapuYele, Range Forest Officer (RFO) Otur said, "The leopards must have fallen into the well at night and were found by the villagers the next day. We are glad they were both unhurt and were able to safely return to their natural habitat."

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