Nightly Prowl takes a Grave Turn as Leopard falls into a Well in Uttar Pradesh!

June 22, 2020 | By Mahima Sharma

The prized possessions of the wild find themselves in serious incidents and escaping death at every turn, whether it is being involved in a road accident with speeding vehicles running over them or falling into uncovered wells which may be dry or, on unlucky days, filled up to the brink with water. In India, leopards often find themselves as victims of these uncovered wells, bordering agricultural fields, as these nocturnal cats on their nightly foraging routine tend to venture out to human habitations for livestock and poultry, unaware of the danger that awaits them!

The leopard was trapped in a deep well which was uncovered in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

The Wildlife SOS Rescue Teams, operating out of Maharashtra and Agra, have faced two such unfortunate incidents in the past 10 days. Earlier this week, our rescue team operating out of Agra, received a distress call 80 miles from the National Capital of Delhi, in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, about a leopard trapped in a deep well. Without wasting another minute, two vehicles were dispatched, with an eight-member team from the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit, for the location as it was imperative to save the leopard’s life, considering the fall may have led to injuries or the sheer trauma that it must be undergoing.

The leopard had fallen into the uncovered well and was trapped for over 8 hours! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

The first plan of action was for the Wildlife SOS Rescue Team to assist the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in controlling the crowd that had gathered around the well, curious to get a glimpse of the big cat.

The officials from Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and the rescue team of Wildlife SOS conducted the rescue operation! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

The leopard lay exhausted in the corner of the well, in which it had now been stuck for over 8 hours, when its own efforts to escape the well had not been successful.

Our veterinarians sprang into action and a sedative injection was administered from a safe distance so as to stabilise the leopard’s condition. Within a few minutes, the sedative worked and the leopard was asleep for the rescue team to descend into the well and safely him out from the severely distressing situation. The veterinarians feared the seriousness of the injuries and a potential strain in the hind limbs, owing to the fall and the repeated trials to escape the well, which is why broad-spectrum antibiotics and pain management was administered to the leopard. It was safely lifted and carefully placed inside a transport cage, with the help of forest officials, and an on-site medical examination was conducted by our veterinarians, Dr. S. Ilayaraja and Dr. Pritam Acharya.

Dr. S. Ilayaraja (L) and Dr. Pritam (R) loading the sedatives for the leopard to be safely extracted from the well. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]
The leopard was administered pain management for relief. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

It was decided that the leopard would be rendered the required treatment at the Etawah Safari, which was a 4-hour drive from Amroha. The leopard is currently under treatment and observation. Such incidents bring to light the brutal reality of the serious issues that surround India’s precious wildlife.

The leopard was safely transported to Etawah Safari for treatment and observation! [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Mradul Pathak]

Wildlife SOS receives distress calls from all over the country of wild animals that find themselves fighting for their lives after having fallen into uncovered wells, bringing the glaring truth of unplanned urbanisation to the front. Help us spread awareness and reach out to higher authorities to compulsorily cover these wells and fence them, in order to protect animals from falling prey to such negligence! You can sign the petition by clicking the link.

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