The leopard is currently under observation at the Wildlife SOS (WSOS) Leopard Rescue Centre at Junnar in Maharashtra.
It had strayed into a shed housing cows and goats belonging to a farmer in Taharabad village, located in Ahmednagar district, last week. On hearing scuffling noises, the farmer went to check on his animals and was shocked to see a leopard sitting inside the shed.
The Forest Department was immediately alerted. Forest officers were immediately dispatched to the location. Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar was also called in for reinforcements.
“Rescue operations involving leopards can be dangerous and need careful planning in order to ensure the safety of the animal as well as of the people. Keeping necessary protocols in mind, the team first set up safety nets along the periphery of the shed, following which a trap cage was set up at the entryway to the shed. After gauging the surroundings, the leopard instinctively walked into the trap cage,” a release from the WSOS said.
The entire operation lasted almost three hours after which the leopard was taken to the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre for observation and veterinary examination.
Leopards are commonly found in sugarcane fields or amongst fodder crops in Maharashtra. This particular leopard had reportedly been sighted in the area, a few days earlier.
Dr. Nikhil Bangar, Wildlife Veterinary Officer, Wildlife SOS, said: “The leopard is a female, about 10 to 12 years old. We are keeping her under close observation and will conduct a medical assessment soon.”
Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, Kartick Satyanarayan said: “Due to old age, the leopard’s mobility was restricted to this area. It must have entered the shed in search of shelter and easily available prey such as poultry and livestock. Wildlife SOS was able to assist the Maharashtra Forest Department with timely intervention to prevent a conflict situation from arising.”
WSOS is a non-profit charity with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress across India.