Leopard rescued from 50-feet deep well

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 17 October 2018

A three-year-old female leopard was rescued from a 50-feet deep well by officials of forest department and Wildlife SOS in Gulunchwadi village located in Otur on Sunday. The rescue operation took about four hours and the leopard was rescued safely. It is currently kept under observation at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre.

Pune: A three-year-old female leopard was rescued from a 50-feet deep well by officials of forest department and Wildlife SOS in Gulunchwadi village located in Otur on Sunday. The rescue operation took about four hours and the leopard was rescued safely. It is currently kept under observation at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre.

The villagers found the leopard trapped in a well on Sunday. They immediately contacted the forest department who in turn alerted Wildlife SOS.

A five-member rescue team led by Wildlife SOS Senior Veterinarian Dr Ajay Deshmukh accompanied by six forest officers rushed to the location. The rescue operation was a complicated one as the 50 foot deep well was connected to an adjoining well at the bottom and the leopard was ambling frantically. To rescue the leopard, the team lowered a trap cage down with the hope that the leopard would jump right in, however, on seeing the unfamiliar metal box, the petrified animal darted towards a narrow crevice between the two wells.

Realising that the efforts will bore no fruits, the rescue team came up with an alternate plan which required the team to physically go in the well and tranquilise the leopard from a close range. Dr Deshmukh and Wildlife SOS Veterinary Assistant Mahendra Dhore stepped into the trap cage with necessary gear and tranquilising equipment. They were carefully lowered in the well. Once they had a clear visual, Dr Ajay used a dart gun to sedate the leopard. The sedative kicked in within a few minutes after which the duo transferred the animal in the cage. Soon after, the Wildlife SOS team hopped into another trap cage and were safely pulled back up. 

Dr Deshmukh, Senior Veterinarian at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre said, “The entire exercise had to be executed quickly with painstaking care. Such rescue operations can be dangerous and need careful planning and calibration in order to ensure the safety of the animal as well as people.”

Mahendra Dhore, Wildlife SOS Veterinary Assistant said, “The leopard is kept under close observation while she recuperates from this stressful experience.” Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS said, “This is an all too familiar scenario in India. Open wells and uncovered water tanks dotting buffer areas continue to pose a threat to animals. In the interest of public safety, appropriate measures must be taken to prevent such incidents from taking place in future.”

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