Mother rejects leopard cub found in Yeoor Hills

The leopard cub rescued from Thane on Tuesday was rejected by its mother on Wednesday night, forest officials said on Thursday, adding another attempt to reunite them would be made on Thursday night.

The cub, which is around 10 to 12 days old, was spotted in Yeoor Hills on Tuesday and taken into custody by forest officials later in the day.

“We placed the cub at the same spot where it was found and kept a watch. Its mother arrived, sniffed at it, and walked away after a short while without taking the cub with her,” forest officer Rajendra Pawar, who is in charge of Yeoor Hills, said.

Dr. Shailesh Pethe, veterinary doctor at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, who examined the cub, said a female leopard might act this way if she detects any signs of illness in the cub.

“The mother tends to reject the cub if she feels it might not survive or if its illness could affect the health of her other cubs. We did not detect any overt signs of illness but cubs are very fragile at that age. They derive strength only from the mother’s milk and tend to get weaker as the nutrition wears off. Their brains, too, are not developed enough to even regulate their body temperature and they rely heavily on the mother’s embrace for this,” Dr. Pethe said.

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