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Alert Pune district villagers reunite 14-day-old leopard cub with mother

This 14-day-old female leopard cub was reunited with her mother thanks to the efforts of villagers in Maharashtra

Community-based conservation has become an important tool for resolving human-animal conflict. Example of this came to light when a 14-day-old female leopard cub was spotted in a sugarcane field by farmers in Maharashtra, who helped it get her reunited with the mother.

The incident took place in Pune’s district’s Ane village which is under Otur Forest Range when residents found this stranded cub while going about harvesting their sugarcane fields. Being trained they immediately informed the Forest Department.

The officials of the department along with the Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar reached the location without wasting any time. The NGO’s veterinarian during the on-site medical examination found the cub fit and ready to be released.

The cub was placed in a safe box close to the location where she was discovered and to help the mother the box was lined with the cub’s urine drops. This scent helps the mother to locate her cubs easily.

Sharing more details about the reunion, 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.”

Since the mother leopards prefer to give birth in the tall and dense foliage of the sugarcane fields, awareness of the local community plays a huge role in ensuring that the cubs remain safe and reunited with their mothers in case they are separated.