Pune, Apr 13 (MNN) Setting an example in wildlife conservation, alert residents of Papalwadi village in Pune district of Maharashtra rescued a two-month-old leopard cub from stray dogs. The cub was later reunited with its mother by forest officials.
The cub ran into the human habitation in Khed sub-division while trying to escape chasing canines, who were shoed away by the villagers.
The Forest Department officials rushed the distressed cub to the Wildlife SOS Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar for medical examination. Much to everyone’s relief, the cub was unhurt in the melee.
A team from Wildlife SOS and forest officials returned to the village to set up remote-controlled camera traps in an effort to reunite the cub with her mother. Camera footage showed the leopardess emerging gingerly from the nearby fields, moving toward the crate while sniffing around even as the cub called out to her. The duo was later relocated to a safer area.
Wildlife SOS founder Kartick Satyanarayan said: “Over the years, we’ve noticed a positive change in the mindset of the local communities. Awareness programmes have played a key role in sensitising them to the issues of human-leopard conflict. Now, more and more people are reaching out to us for help when they encounter leopards and other wildlife in the area.”
Over the years, the wild cats of Maharashtra have suitably adapted to habitat modification and moved out of the rapidly shrinking forests to dense sugarcane fields near villages. Female leopards often leave their young ones in sugarcane fields while hunting. However, most often than not, these cubs face the risk of getting exposed to danger as farmers move around the fields to cut their crops, especially during the harvest season.