Pune: 14-Days-Old Leopard Cub Reunited With Mother

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Pune, 16th June 2022: A 14-day-old female leopard cub was spotted in a sugarcane field near Ane village, situated in Otur Forest Range, Pune district of Maharashtra. In a successful attempt, Wildlife SOS assisted the Maharashtra Forest Department in reuniting the cub with her mother.


A 14-day-old leopard cub was found stranded in a sugarcane field in Ane village, located in Otur Forest Range on Wednesday. Farmers of the village first spotted the cub while harvesting sugarcane and trained in the protocol for finding stranded leopard cubs; they immediately alerted the Forest Department.


The Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar was also called to assist in the rescue operation. Geared with medical kits and rescue equipment, the team travelled nearly 60 km to reach the location. Upon arrival, a Wildlife SOS veterinarian conducted an on-site health examination and identified the cub as a female, estimated to be 14 days old.
On being deemed fit for release, the cub was placed in a safe box close to the location where it was discovered. For the reunion to be a success, the box was lined with the cub’s urine drops, so that it acted as a scent marking to assist the mother leopard in locating her more easily.


Dr Nikhil Bangar, Veterinary Officer, Wildlife SOS said, “In most reunions, the cub has to be reunited with the mother as soon as possible, with the first three days being the most critical time frame. In this case, the mother appeared twice but it was only during the second visit that she picked up the cub.”


Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS said, “The cub was found to be in good health and thus a reunion attempt was made at night, a time when leopards are most active. Our camera traps captured the heartwarming moment of the female leopard finding her cub and carrying her away to a safer location.”


Vaibhav Kakade, Range Forest Officer (Otur) said, “As soon as the villagers spotted the cub, they informed us and we immediately reached the location. Spotting a leopard cub in this region is a common occurrence. We are glad that the mother and the cub were reunited.”
Community-based conservation is the most important tool for mitigating human-wildlife conflict. The sugarcane harvesting season in rural Maharashtra coincides with the birthing period of mother leopards, and they prefer the tall and dense foliage of the sugarcane fields to give birth. Thus, the awareness of the local community plays a huge role here in avoiding any kind of mishap and ensuring that these cubs are safely reunited with their mothers.