Civet Cat Saved From Uncovered Well

October 13, 2021 | By Mahima Sharma
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Uncovered wells continue to pose a great threat to wild animals, especially nocturnal animals who venture out to forage or hunt during night time. An unexpected fall into a dry well or a well filled with water causes them immense stress and serious injuries.

While larger mammals such as hyenas, leopards can be spotted, smaller mammals never see the light of the day. The agricultural wells are important for the villagers and farmers to irrigate their farms. However, uncovered wells claim the lives of many innocent wild animals, every now and then. The residents of Hapusbag, in Junnar, Maharashtra were shocked to find a small animal struggling in the well, during their routine visit.

The civet cat was exhausted as she struggled to escape the well. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Akash Dolas]

Unsure of any other detail about the animal, other than its evident struggle to escape, the kind villagers alerted the Maharashtra Forest Department. The villages surrounding the Junnar division receive regular training and capacity-building on what to do when they see a wild animal in distress. Following protocol, the forest officials reached out to the Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Leopard Rescue Centre only a few kilometres away.  

The civet cat used her teeth and claws to try and escape the well, but failed. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Akash Dolas]

A team of 7 respondents from  Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department arrived at the location with all the necessary rescue equipment. Due to the precarious nature of the rescue operation, a meticulous plan was set in motion. A cage tied to a rope was slowly lowered to the 30-feet-deep open well to safely extricate the civet cat from the well. The civet cat was exhausted by then but also scared for its life, unaware of what the next steps would be.

The animal’s attempts to escape the well were futile. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Akash Dolas]

The cage was lowered right to a point where the civet cat could easily climb into the cage, without stressing itself any further. The panic-stricken civet cat rushed into the cage and the door was immediately shut, after which the cage was safely lifted out. The civet cat was examined by Wildlife SOS veterinary team to check for nature of injuries, lacerations or any permanent disability. Much to everyone’s relief, the civet cat was deemed fit for release after a few hours of rest under medical observation.

The civet cat was quick to climb straight into the trap cage! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Akash Dolas]

The strenuous one-hour long operation saved the civet cat’s life but the open agricultural wells, dangerously close to forests, require a permanent solution. It is imperative to push for long-term safety measure to protect India’s precious wildlife! Some basic structural modifications such as building a high parapet wall around the open well can avoid such mishaps.

You can also sign our petition and urge the Government of Maharashtra to save the wild animals from falling prey to the uncovered wells!

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