On November 10 2014 at 4pm, Wildlife SOS received a call from Mr. S.N Bansode, a forest officer of the Narayangaon Forest Department, Maharashtra. A local farmer, Mr. Kambale, had come across a 3 month old male leopard cub in his sugarcane field and immediately alerted the Forest Department.
Upon receiving the call, Dr. Ajay and the team rushed to the spot where the cub had been sighted which was 50 km away from Wildlife SOS’s rescue center for leopards. The cub was surrounded by villagers who were trying to chase him away. He was trembling with cold and fear when the rescue team brought him back to the centre. He was meticulously examined by Dr. Ajay for ticks or injuries to determine if he needed any medical interventions. The cub had flies all over his body but apart from that, he was found to be in excellent health.
After having a detailed discussion with the concerned forest officers, Mr. Dhokate and Mr. S.N Bansode, Dr. Ajay made the decision to reunite the cub with his mother. They felt it was important that a chance be given to the cub to be raised naturally. Based on past experiences of Wildlife SOS’s successful reuniting of several cubs and mothers, this attempt was quite achievable. Time was of the essence as the best chances of the mother coming back for her cub were in the first 48 hours.
The same evening, Dr. Ajay and paramedic cum manager Mr. Mahendra Dhore swiftly assembled the team and they travelled to the sugarcane field to the very spot where the cub had been found. The villagers were quickly briefed and requested to stay calm. Soon dusk fell and the cub began to mewl.
After ensuring the area was secure, they laid the cub in a crate and placed him at the spot. The team then moved away from the area and positioned themselves at a zone which was 100 m from where the cub was placed. They waited intently for the mother to come. Around 11.30 pm, a figure was seen approaching the crate. As the figure got closer, the team realized it was the mother who picked up the cub and disappeared hastily in the sugarcane field.
Leopard expert, Dr. Ajay said, “We are all very pleased to see the cub reunited with his mother and extend our gratitude to Mr. S.N Bansode and Mr. Kambale for taking necessary steps in aiding the cub making this a successful rescue.”