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Maharashtra villagers halt harvest to reunite lost Jungle cat kittens with mother

It was indeed a joyous moment for the villagers of Hivre in Maharashtra’s Pune district as their alertness and effort ensured reuniting Jungle cat kittens with their mother.

With the sugarcane harvest season on in Maharashtra, farmers are careful as felines like leopards, jungle cats and Rusty-spotted cats take refuge in the dense growth of the farms and often leave their cubs there, when they go hunting for food.

Hivre villagers chanced upon two baby Jungle cats today. They were barely 20 days old and their eyes had not fully opened yet.  Concerned about the safety of these kittens, the farmers immediately stopped the harvesting operation and shifted them carefully to a sheltered area. Then they alerted the Forest Department who along with a team of experts of Wildlife SOS reached the site.

Jungle Cat Kittens1
The jungle cat kittens were found to be healthy and fit

The kittens were examined by the Wildlife SOS veterinary doctor who found them healthy and fit. The two – one male and one female – were placed in a safe box and taken back to the field where they had been found.

The camera traps installed at the site confirmed that the mother approached them and picked them one after the other and returned to the forest.

Talking about the incident, Dr Chandan Sawne, Veterinary Officer of Wildlife SOS said: “Reunion operations are extremely sensitive so measures have to be taken to ensure that they are successful. The cubs are held gently with gloved hands during examinations. Handling them is kept to a minimum so that this does not make them more anxious. The safe boxes are well-ventilated and usually placed in the spot where the cub was initially found to make the search easier for the mother.”

Jungle cat is found in the Indian subcontinent, West Asia, Central and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and Southern China. They prey on small mammals and rodents and live in swamp areas with dense vegetation.