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Forest wardens in India's Gujarat state have rescued a three-year old leopard which had fallen into an open well. The leopard is the second of its kind to be rescued in the area this week, highlighting the growing problem of creatures loosing their habitat and having to stray into populated areas for food.
The distressed leopard was finally winched to safety after many hours of incarceration and trauma. The animal was tranquilised using a dart after its struggles against a noose round its belly were thought to be harming the animal.
Eventually the three-year-old animal was lifted from the water and hauled onto a wooden frame by a team of eight wardens in the village of Aambaliya.
It is said that the Leopard is becoming India's Urban Fox as incidents such as this are growing in frequency as shrinking natural habitats forces more of these big cats to venture into human territory. They approach settlements where they are tempted to prey on domestic livestock including dogs, pigs and goats, and of course they will always be in need of a drink of water.
Leopards were once common across all of southern Asia but have been recently classified (since 2008) as 'near threatened' by International Union for Conservation of Nature. In May 2010, the Wildlife Protection Society of India estimated that at least 3,189 leopards were killed in the country since 1994.
Norman and I are pleased the animal was freed from his ordeal but feel that incarcerating him in the local zoo (and not setting him free) was a little uncalled for. However we have no knowledge of affairs in this region and so hope the leopard is given a large home in which to live.
Cat of the Month ~ January 2013
Longleat's four Amur (Siberian) Tigers were fascinated by the deep snow outside and were always going to make the most of 'snow day' when it came around.
... but when their keepers decided to build some snowmen, things got more exciting and they just had to go in to investigate....
So what were these strange white creatures with orange noses.....
So inquisitive were the four handsome beasts that they caused the fragile snowmen to collapse.....
...and so, it was off to explore the rest of their snow bound enclosure before retiring to a snug warm pen for the evening.
Heres the video of the whole episode
...or head over to the Longleat website for these and many other wonderful animals.
And whats an Amur Tiger you might ask. Well here's a pretty concise article on the National Geographic website