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Junnar: One-month-old leopard cub found in sugarcane field, later reunited with mother

In a successful effort by Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest department, the lost cub was safely reunited with its mother.

A 30-day-old leopard cub was recently found in a sugarcane field in Bori Salwadi village, located in Otur forest range of Junnar, Pune district.

In a successful effort by Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest department, the lost cub was safely reunited with its mother.

Sugarcane farmers from Bori Salwadi village found the 30-day-old female leopard cub and alerted the Forest department, which contacted the Wildlife SOS team operating out of the Leopard Rescue Center in Junnar. A four-member team from Wildlife SOS and a team of Forest officers rushed to the location.

Wildlife SOS veterinary officer Dr Nikhil Bangar conducted an on-site examination for ticks and injuries and found the cub to be healthy and fit for release. They placed the cub in a safe box, close to where it was found. Camera trap footage captured the mother leopard slowly approaching the cub around midnight. After gently knocking off the covers from the safe box, she picked up her baby by the scruff of the neck and retreated into the tall, dense sugarcane field.

Dr Bangar said, “It is not uncommon to spot leopards in this area, as there are several sugarcane fields that provide safe cover for these wild cats and a suitable shelter for giving birth and rearing their cubs. But this also gives rise to conflict situations, especially during the harvest season. Therefore, we try our best to reunite missing cubs with their mother to avoid instances of human-leopard conflict.”

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