These amazing pictures show the remarkable rescue effort to save a leopard which fell down a well in India while looking for prey.
The big cat was pictured with its glowing eyes peering up at the people on the top of the well, who called rescue workers from the Guwahati Zoo to help save the struggling animal.
The distressed leopard was drenched, with just its head sticking out of the muddy water littered with broken wood floating on the surface, as it waited from the rescuers to arrive.
Crowds of people gather to watch the audacious effort, with many lending a hand to pull buckets of water up from the well so that the leopard doesn’t drown while unconscious.
One man carefully climbs down the damp walls of the well and bravely ties the ropes around the animals neck and torso so that the army of helpers at the top can drag it to safety.Source
The rescuers first lowered a wooden log into the well, for the leopard to hold on to for temporary support.
They then readied a trap cage and carefully lowered it into the water. In the footage, rescuers can be seen angling the open door towards the big cat. As soon as the cage reached the leopard, she scrambled inside.
A similar incident took place in Maharashtra state in February, with a male leopard rescued from a 50-foot well in Ahmednagar district.
A spokesperson for Wildlife SOS told Newsweek last month that leopards can fall into uncovered wells if they wander too close to villages. If unnoticed, the leopard may drown.
After the incident in Pune, a range forest officer, VM Kakde, said in a press release that the district was a “leopard prone” area. Kakde added that the nocturnal cat is thought to have fallen into the well at night, while she was on the prowl for food.
The leopard was loaded onto the back of a Wildlife SOS vehicle and taken to the group’s Leopard Rescue Center for a medical examination. She will be kept under observation for a few days until she has fully recovered, then released into the wild.
Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO and co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said in a press release: “Wells in most villages remain exposed due to lack of proper covers or boundary walls. It is not just leopards, a species protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, that are vulnerable to these open wells, but also several other species that may fall in accidentally, with potentially fatal results.”
Wildlife SOS is currently working with farmers and forestry officials to cover open wells in order to prevent these types of accidents.