Maharashtra: Second leopard rescued from well in one week

Otur [Maharashtra], Oct 16 (ANI): In a four-hour long rescue operation, an approximately three-year-old female leopard was rescued from a 50-foot-deep well in Gulunchwadi village located in Otur, Maharashtra. The animal was rescued by Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department and is currently under observation at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center. Just a week after the rescue of a female leopard from a 30-foot-deep well in a village in Otur range, the NGO was alerted about another incident of a leopard trapped inside a well in Gulunchwadi village in Otur. The concerned locals immediately contacted the Forest Department, who in turn alerted Wildlife SOS. Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, said, "This is an all too familiar scenario in India. Open wells and uncovered water tanks dotting buffer areas continue to pose a threat to animals residing close by. In the interest of public safety, appropriate measures must be taken to prevent such incidents from taking place in the future." A five-member rescue team led by Wildlife SOS Senior veterinarian Dr. Ajay Deshmukh accompanied by six forest officers rushed to the location. The 50-foot-deep well was connected to an adjoining well at the bottom. The team lowered a trap cage for the leopard to jump in, however, on seeing the unfamiliar metal box the petrified animal darted towards a narrow crevice between the two wells. As a secondary plan, Dr. Ajay Deshmukh and Wildlife SOS Veterinary Assistant Mahendra Dhore, stepped into the trap cage with necessary gear and tranquilizing equipment. Dr. Ajay then used a dart gun to sedate the leopard from inside the cage. The sedative kicked in within a few short minutes after which the duo transferred the animal into the cage. Soon after, the Wildlife SOS team hopped into another trap cage and were safely pulled back up. The entire operation lasted almost four hours after which leopard was taken to the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre for observation and any required treatment. Dr. Deshmukh said, "The entire exercise had to be executed quickly with painstaking care. Such rescue operations can be dangerous and need careful planning and calibration in order to ensure the safety of the animal as well as people. We are extremely grateful to the forest department for their cooperation and for their assistance in making this rescue a success." (ANI)
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