Mumbai: Leopard falls into wells twice, rescued

Big cat entered Parner takuka village but fell into well chasing livestock.

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A plan to feast on livestock after entering a farm in a village at Parner taluka proved to be costly for a young female leopard as it fell into a well on Saturday. Even as it was being rescued, in an attempt to flee, it ended up attacking a forest staff and soon fell into another well at a distance after villagers gave it a chase. However, by evening, the Wildlife SOS team from Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, Junnar, finally rescued the leopard again.
The incident occurred at Padali Aale village on the border of Ahmednagar and Pune district around 11.30am when the leopard chasing livestock fell into the well. "Forest officials put up a trap cage at the mouth of the well and put a ladder into the well. Soon the leopard climbed up the stairs, but instead of entering the trap cage, it leapt out to escape and injured a forest official. It was then chased by villagers and it ended up falling into another well a few hundred metres away," informed a senior veterinarian of Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre.

Dr Ajay Deshmikh from Wildlife SOS informed that the forest staff only had minor bruises. The Ahmednagar forest staff alerted the team about the entire situation around 3pm. For the second time, the task was more difficult for forest staff as the well was more than 50-foot deep. Even as the rescue team reached the village from Junnar by 5.30pm, the team along with forest staff strategised the rescue mission and with the help of police asked the villagers to be away.

"The leopard was already in trauma, so we decided that the rescue should be carried out without causing any further trauma to the animal. Hence, we called a JCB and got the trap-cage lowered into the well. The leopard was hiding in a small corner of the well but soon walked into the trap cage and was safely rescued," shared Deshmukh. 

A detailed medical check up of the leopard was carried out and it was found to have no injuries or any other problem. It would be soon released in the forest. Dr Vidya Athreya, a wildlife biologist who has researched on leopards in Akole, said, "The cases of leopards falling into wells have been increasing and one of the main reasons is that most of these wells do not have proper safety walls around them. Forest officials should work on this aspect of getting the walls built to ensure such incidents are avoided."

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