A tiny leopard cub, who is only 10 weeks old, was found abandoned in a sugarcane field after his mother was forced to flee due to local villagers. The cub was left to fend for himself on the outskirts of a village in Nashik, Maharashtra in India. He was later discovered by farmers who were out harvesting sugarcane in the fields near Mhalsa Kore village, near to the village where a four month old female leopard cub was rescued just a few months earlier. Worried for their own safety, as well as the cub’s, the farmers decided to contact the Forest Department who proceeded to rescue the cub. He is currently recovering from the traumatic ordeal at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, which is run by charity Wildlife SOS in collaboration with the Forest Department, and who find that conflict between humans and leopards are very common in the area, which often results in the mother being forced to abandon her cubs.
Leopard cubs are fully dependent on their mothers for the first two years of their lives, which prompted foresters to make several attempts to reunite the lost three month old cub with his mother. However, the cub currently remains at the wildlife centre as the mother did not return to the original site where she was forced to abandon the small cub. This means that the cub will now be raised alongside other rescued baby leopards, at the centre which currently has 34 leopards that will not be released back into the wild.
Dr Ajay Deshmukh, Senior Veterinarian at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre, said, “He is slightly weak and we have currently put him on multivitamin supplements. We will have to hand rear the cub as he can no longer be returned to the wild.” Forester Salunke added, “We made several attempts to reunite the cub with its mother but she never showed up. The cub will now be under the permanent care of Wildlife SOS, who are also currently rearing the female leopard cub, rescued earlier this year.”
The co-founder of Wildlife SOS, Kartick Satyanarayan, said, “This is the second leopard cub to have been rescued in the last two months. Cubs this young cannot survive on their own as young leopards are dependent on their mothers for the first two years of their lives.The cub is now under the care and observation of our team of dedicated veterinarians and staff.”
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