Pune, 18th June 2022: In a harrowing two-hour-long operation, a Striped hyena was rescued from a 30-foot-deep open well in Buchkewadi village located in Junnar division, Maharashtra.
Timely intervention by Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department helped save the hyena’s life following which it was safely released back into the wild!
On Saturday morning, an occupant of Buchkewadi village stepped out to turn on the water pump of his well and was left shocked at the sight of a Striped hyena trapped inside it. The nearly 30-foot-deep uncovered well is located in the periphery of a forested area which is home to several wild animals including hyenas that often venture out into human habitation in search of easily available prey and shelter.
To facilitate the rescue operation, personnel from the Junnar Range Forest Division called the Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre for reinforcement. Equipped with rescue gear and a trap cage, a four-member rescue team from the NGO promptly arrived at the location.
The team lowered a trap cage into the well and after a few attempts, the hyena successfully entered it. Once safely inside, the cage was carefully lifted out and the hyena was later released back into a neighbouring forest.
Dr Nikhil Bangar, Wildlife Veterinary Officer, Wildlife SOS, said, “The hyena, suspected to be a female, was exhausted from its struggle to escape out of the well and had sustained minor abrasions on the body. As there were no major injuries and the animal was fit, we released her back into the wild.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO, Wildlife SOS, said, “Animals trapped in such dangerous situations are already very stressed so ensuring their safety and comfort is our priority. Despite the years of experience on our hands, our rescuers always take into consideration the possible risks and challenges while conducting such rescue operations. We are grateful to the forest officers for making this rescue a success.”
Ajit Shinde, Range Forest Officer, Junnar said, “Open wells are a common threat to wildlife around villages, and our teams are always vigilant to provide any assistance when it comes to rescuing animals in distress.”
The Striped hyena is the only hyena species that is found in the Indian subcontinent and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Classified as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List, their global population is estimated to be under 10,000.
This incident took place just weeks after the dramatic rescue of a leopard from a 45-feet-deep well in the Otur range. Wildlife SOS and the Forest Department used an ingenious method to save the distressed feline from drowning by lowering a charpai (a woven bed) for it to climb onto for support.
Wildlife SOS has started a pioneering and monumental effort to partner with the local communities to cover open wells in Maharashtra to reduce the risk of death to people, leopards and other wildlife. You can make a difference by contributing to the cause at https://give.wildlifesos.org/page/16138/donate/1