Civet Rescues Over The Years By Wildlife SOS

December 10, 2022 | By Avni Gupta
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India is home to numerous civet species. Civets are carnivorous mammals that belong to the Viverridae family. Also known as toddy cats, civets are nocturnal animals, occupying a variety of habitats. The animal has several epithets attached to it — it is known as a gravedigger (Kabar Bijju) in Delhi, a baby stealer (Bhaam) in Kolkata, and an onion thief (Kandechor) in Maharashtra! People even consider civets as ‘bad omen’ and pests that cause a nuisance.

civet rescued
Civets are often considered ‘bad omens’ and pests. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Akash Dolas]

However, these arboreal (tree-climbing) animals play an important role in the ecosystem. Civets control the rodent population and are prime contributors to the dispersal of seeds as they often feed on fruits, berries, and coffee beans. Some civet species have been recorded to enter human-dominated landscapes in search of shelter and food resources. On multiple occasions, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit has rescued civets from all across the country. Here are some of the most unique and interesting civet rescues that took place over the last few years!

animal release
Wildlife SOS frequently rescues civets from urban areas and releases them back into the wild. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Shresatha Pachori]

Sighting inside a Shoe Factory

In May 2022, employees working at a shoe manufacturing factory in Sikandra, Agra were left in a state of panic when they noticed an unusual visitor — an Asian Palm civet! Due to the rising temperature and severe heat, the civet was found in an immensely dehydrated state. Considering the safety of the animal, the production manager immediately contacted the forest department officials and Wildlife SOS.

hiding civet
A civet was spotted hiding in a shoe factory. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Shresatha Pachori]

A three-member rescue team was immediately deployed to the location, and they found the civet resting underneath a rack. One of the rescuers carefully removed the rack and transferred the civet to a safe transport carrier, much to everyone’s relief. After it recovered, our team released it back into its natural habitat.

Wrestling in a Well

In the same month, our team based out of Maharashtra carried out a strenuous operation to rescue a Small Indian civet from an open well. The distressed civet was first spotted by local farmers in Padali village in Junnar division, who immediately contacted the forest department.

civet in well
Our team based in Maharashtra rescued a civet from an open well. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Akash Dolas]

One of the rescuers climbed down the well to safely extricate the animal which was perching on an elevated edge to avoid drowning. After an hour-long operation, it was rescued and checked for injuries and lacerations. Medical observation deemed the animal fit, and within a few hours, the civet was released back to its natural habitat.

A year ago, an approximately 4-year-old Small Indian civet was also rescued from a 30-foot-deep well by Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest Department. The carnivore faced the risk of drowning, and a trap cage was lowered for it to get into. After its successful rescue and an on-site medical examination, the animal was released into a neighbouring forest. 

Hotel Hideout

In March this year, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit was alerted to the presence of an Asian Palm civet at a hotel in Delhi. The distressed animal was first spotted by the staff of the Grand Hotel, as it made its way into the staff room. Using necessary rescue equipment, two members carefully rescued and moved it into a transportation carrier. The animal was soon released into its natural habitat. 

rescued civet
A civet was rescued from a hotel in Delhi. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]

Incidents at Institutes

On several occasions, our team has rescued civets from educational institutions located in Delhi. In 2020, a civet was found trapped inside the restroom of Kendriya Vidyalaya school in South Delhi. This operation proved to be challenging as it took the Wildlife SOS team around 30 minutes to rescue the civet from within a narrow space. In 2019, another civet was rescued from Jawaharlal Nehru University after it was found entangled in a deadly snare of metal near the boundary wall of the university’s north gate. With extreme caution, our team cut through the snare to release the animal. 

Back in 2017, our team was alerted about a civet cat in a classroom in Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Delhi. The animal was cautiously extricated and subsequently released in the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary. In 2016, the IGNOU campus in Delhi also hosted an uncommon guest in the form of an Asian Palm civet. A rescue team was dispatched immediately, which safely extricated the animal. 

carnivore animal
Rescued civets are released back in the wild after medical examination. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]

Another rescue from an institute took place in 2011, where the rescue call from the Jamia Islamia University led the Wildlife SOS team to a Small Indian civet. It was found seeking shelter inside a cavity in the IT room of the institute. After careful extrication, the animal was kept under medical observation and soon released into the wild.

Alarm at the Airport

In 2018, cleaning staff at the Agra Airport spotted a frightened and drenched civet in the bathroom. Upon being alerted, our team rushed to the location and rescued the animal within half an hour. A medical examination found the animal in sound health, hence it was released in the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary.

civet rescued
Civets are known to occupy a variety of habitats across India. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Shresatha Pachori]

Panic in the Parliament

Back in 2014, an Asian Palm civet strayed inside the Parliament House in Delhi, causing panic in the library. The mammal was eventually rescued by the Wildlife SOS team and was kept under medical care since it was severely dehydrated. Soon, after it had recovered, the civet was released into a forested area. 

In November this year, a Small Indian civet was found in an unconscious state in Junnar, Maharashtra. Concerned for its well-being, the forest department rushed the animal to the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre for medical intervention. After receiving treatment from the Wildlife SOS veterinary team, it made a complete recovery and was ready to return to the wild. Our team travelled nearly 35 km to reach Sangnore village from where the animal was rescued and carefully released in an open field.

These are just some of the many triumphant rescue stories, all thanks to our Rapid Response Unit! If you come across a wild animal in distress, please call our 24-hour helpline number. Wildlife SOS operates 24×7 emergency rescue helplines across four states:

Delhi NCR – +91-9871963535
Agra and Mathura, Uttar Pradesh – +91-9917109666
Vadodara, Gujarat – +91-9825011117
Jammu and Kashmir – +91-7006692300, +91-9419778280

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Hotline Number | हॉटलाइन नंबर

Delhi NCT Region +91-9871963535
Agra Region (UP) +91-9917109666
Vadodra Region +91-9825011117
J&K Region +91 7006692300
+91 9419778280