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Indian Big Cats’ “Well” Fiasco

Posted on 04 June 2012 by RE Team

The big cats of India has been fighting with the increasing population in the country. There are regular incidents when Leopards or even Tigers stray into villages and create unexpected situations. We have here captured some of the examples where the big cat gets trapped in men dug  wells and struggles to get out of it. It creates nervousness and frustration in the animal and sometimes even injures people.

May 28, 2012

A wild leopard fell into a water reservoir tank at a tea estate in Sangatram, some 30 kms from Siliguri, in West Bengal, India. After various efforts by authorities, the Leopard finally escapes using a ladder put by the rescue team from Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary.


The Nervous Leopard struggling to climb the well - Diptendu Dutta / AFP



Leopard climbing a ladder - Diptendu Dutta / AFP


Feb 29, 2011

Within a span of 24 hours two big cats of India slipped into man made wells at different locations.

The first incident was reported from Chameli Forest are of Maharashtra, western India.

The tiger, a full grown adult around four years old, fell into the 40-feet-deep dry well, which was not protected by a wall. The tiger was probably chasing some prey and must have accidentally fallen into the well around dawn today. It spent around ten hours in the well without food or water.


The frightened Tiger in the well


The animal’s plight was detected almost five hours later when some tribals and forest officials heard its roar and alerted police and wildlife officials, who then mounted a rescue operation. The tiger was first tranquilized and then taken out of the 40 feet deep well. It took more than three hours for the authorities to complete the operation. Later the Big Cat was released to wild.

In another similar incident reported from central India, a one-and-a-half year-old leopard was Tuesday extricated from a well in after a six-hour rescue operation.

Villagers of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh first heard roars of the Leopard in a well situated in the fields. They informed the forest department. The intital efforts from the villagers to rescue it failed.


Angry Leopard in Well


Later, the forest department workers used a cage and successfully took out the leopard from the well.  The leopard would be released in the Dewas forest area after a medical check-up.

These are not only the first reports of big cats falling into human structures. There are frequent reports of such incidents from all corners of India.

On Sep 6, 2010, a Leopard was rescued from a well by locals in Udupi, south India.

On March, 2009, an adult Leopard was rescued from Guwahati, eastern part of India.

These reports imply the shrinking habitat of these big cats.

In fact the sighting of tiger in that area surprised the authorities. The area  never reported a sighting in the past many years since it is not a thick forest region. This says how far the rare animal travelled into human settlements, where it is never safe!

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