Pune: Trapped Leopard Rescued From Sugarcane Field

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Pune, 7th September 2023: In yet another remarkable wildlife rescue operation, Wildlife SOS, in collaboration with the Maharashtra Forest Department, successfully rescued a female leopard from a net trap in Gangapur village, situated in Ghodegaon Forest Range of Maharashtra. The leopard was safely rescued and handed over to the forest department staff.

Recently a female leopard, approximately 7-8 years old, was found trapped in a net set up by local farmers in a sugarcane field to prevent wild animal intrusions in Gangapur village of Ghodegaon Forest Range. The Maharashtra Forest Department was immediately alerted by the villagers, and a rescue team from Wildlife SOS’ Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre was dispatched to assist in the rescue operation.

The NGO’s rescue team, equipped with the necessary gear, reached the location and assessed the surroundings first. The Wildlife SOS veterinarian then proceeded with extreme caution and tranquilised the big cat from a safe distance. Once safely sedated, the team carefully cut away the net entangling the leopard, ensuring no harm came to the feline in the process.

Following the successful extrication, the Wildlife SOS veterinary team conducted a thorough on-site medical examination which revealed no injuries to the feline. The rescued leopard was then entrusted to the care of the Maharashtra Forest Department who subsequently released the leopard back into its natural habitat.

Dr. Chandan Sawane, Veterinary Officer, Wildlife SOS, said, “Our immediate medical examination ensures that rescued animals are returned to the wild in the best possible health. We are thankful that the leopard was found with no injuries despite the feline being severely entangled in the net trap.”

Mahesh Gargote, Range Forest Officer, Ghodegaon Range, said, “The successful rescue operation of the leopard in collaboration with Wildlife SOS shows our dedication and expertise. It highlights the importance of proactive conservation measures and reinforces the need for coexistence between humans and leopards in the region.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS, said, “Habitat modification and fragmentation pose grave threats to the survival of leopards and many other wildlife species. It’s imperative that we recognise the importance of preserving and restoring these habitats to ensure the long-term survival of these big cats and maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems.”

As human development encroaches further into leopard habitats, we witness a troubling disconnect between these apex predators and the ecosystems they rely upon. Leopards are increasingly forced to venture into human settlements in search of food and shelter. This proximity often leads to conflicts, endangering both leopards and human communities.