While a Leopard was burnt alive outside Corbett National Park and another brutally battered to death outside Delhi not so very long ago, Wildlife SOS successfully rescued another Leopard from a 25 feet deep well in village Dholwad, 50kms away from the Junnar Leopard Rescue Centre in Maharshtra. The Leopard had fallen into the village well while trying to prey on some poultry in the early hours of the morning but some villagers soon noticed him and informed the local Forest Department who in turn called Wildlife SOS to the rescue.

The well was full of water and the Leopard was stuck to one side of the wall holding on to a ledge. Due to the water level in the well tranquilizing was opted out as the Leopard could lose consciousness and drown before the rescue team could manage to reach him. The alternative was to lower a ladder to the Leopard with one end going towards the Leopard and the other end fixed to the door of the trap cage which was held at the opening of the well, leaving the animal with no choice but to walk into the cage. After a long wait of about 60 minutes the animal at last decided to give in to fate and walked into the cage. He was checked for injuries and wounds and once ascertained to be fit was released in the nearby forest range from which he was assumed to have strayed.

Maharashtra Forest range Officer J. V. Jadhav who was present at the rescue site said “It was a successful operation by Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department whereby the animal was rescued and relocated to his natural habitat. We feel a change in the present attitude of the locales towards this jungle cat. Where earlier their first instinct was to attack, kill or maim the animal, they now promptly inform the Forest Department. We believe our efforts to spread awareness and sensitize the people is bearing fruit. We are thankful to Wildlife SOS for their timely help and assistance.”

Dr. Ajay of Wildlife SOS said “The animals was healthy and unharmed so it was decided to release him immediately in his home range. We spent a better part of the day organising the rescue and are happy that we managed to safely rehabilitate the animals. The support of the local population is much appreciated.”

This is the second successful rehabilitation of an adult Leopard in the Junnar range by Wildlife SOS within the last 6 months. In December 2010 Wildlife SOS had released another rescued Leopard Hanuman after he was declared fit for the wild.

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