Pune: A six-year-old male leopard was rescued by Wildlife SOS and Pune Forest Department from Dhavalpuri village in Ahmednagar on Sunday.
According to information given by members of Wildlife SOS, the leopard was injured in an accident and was in need of immediate medical intervention.
On Sunday afternoon, the Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center in Junnar received a call from deputy conservator of forest Adarsh Reddy about the injured leopard that was spotted in the village.
Range Forest Officer (Takali Dhokeshwar) Kishan Agalwe said, “A farmer saw the leopard painfully struggling to make its way to the sugarcane field. He immediately reported the incident on finding the animal in such a pitiable state. We called up the Wildlife SOS team to ensure the animal receives the best care possible.”
The injured leopard had sought out refuge in a sugarcane field. Later, a three-member team from Wildlife SOS, carrying safety nets and tranquilising equipment arrived at the site, accompanied by a group of twenty forest officers to carry out the rescue operation.
Dr Ajay Deshmukh carefully immobilised the distressed feline by using a sedative injection from a safe distance.
A thorough veterinary examination conducted by Dr. Deshmukh revealed that the leopard was paralysed from the hind limbs and had sustained external injuries on the left thigh and other parts.
By the nature of injury marks, it was suspected that the leopard had met with a highway accident. The rescue mission lasted for almost two hours after which the leopard was carefully transported to a transit facility in Dhotre, where it is currently under observation and being treated.
Dr Ajay Deshmukh, Senior Veterinarian at the Wildlife SOS Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center, said, “The wounds on the thigh and other parts appear to be few days old. The leopard is currently paralysed from the waist down and is also suffering from tick infestation. We are yet to conduct an X-ray examination, which will enable us to determine the cause and extent of the injury.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO Wildlife SOS, said, “We suspect that the animal was hit by a speeding vehicle while attempting to cross the busy National Highway (NH-61). A thorough medical evaluation will be conducted soon to confirm the same. With little or no provision for wildlife corridors or underpasses that allow the animals to cross the road safely, many unsuspecting animals put their lives at risk as they often wander onto these busy highways and end up getting injured or killed.”