It’s no surprise that the majority of animals have a similar response to being confined to small spaces like humans. Yet, it’s often their innate curiosity that gets the best of them and they often wander where they shouldn’t. Of course, that leads to some rather dangerous circumstances that have dire consequences.
Take what recently happened to a wild animal in the Dhundi village of central India, for instance. When someone noticed the animal had become stuck at the bottom of a 20-foot well, they knew they had to do whatever it took to save its life.
In rural Indian villages, the well or watering hole is central to sustaining life. They take maintaining their wells seriously, which is why one woman panicked when she noticed something unusual going on when she went to fetch water…
A villager was immediately alarmed when they randomly heard loud splashing coming from a nearby well. Concerned, the man ran over to see what could possibly be causing such a ruckus below!
As he peered over the waist-high ledge, the man spotted a wild animal struggling at the bottom of the deep well situated near the Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
As it appeared there was no way for the animal to climb out of the incredibly deep well all on its own, the gathering villagers knew they would have to do whatever it took to bring the 3-year-old leopard back up and to safety.
Of course, assisting such a large cat from a deep well would be no easy task, and trying to get it to climb a rope didn’t work. So with quick thinking, one of the villagers decided to make an emergency call to the Forest Service officials to help.
In the meantime, the villagers who gathered to see what happened began to ponder how the wild leopard even ended up at the bottom of the well. Their only assumption was that it was likely searching for water.
The service officials arrived to the desperate scene shortly thereafter, and quickly began working with the villagers to help the leopard make it out of the deep well. But if they wanted to do that, they’d have to be as creative as possible.
As the rescuers and villagers worked together, the leopard continued to splash around below—even continuing to try and climb the wall with its sharp claws. Yet, no matter how hard it tried, it couldn’t escape!
At that, the men had come up with an idea—they were going to drop a 20-foot-long, makeshift wooden ladder down into the well below. But how would the cat react to the object?
“I instructed my staff to arrange ladders and some ropes,” assistant director of forest services, Lokesh Nirapure explained in an interview. “When I reached the spot, the ladder was ready.”
Even with the escape ladder submerged in the water, the leopard paid it no attention, much to the dismay of the rescuers and villagers. But after continuing to splash around for several minutes, it noticed the ladder.
The wild leopard appeared to be confused by the sudden appearance of the ladder in the well, though it did swim over to it to investigate. After a few moments that must have felt like hours, it finally grabbed hold of one of the rungs.
The leopard was clearly not only remarkably strong but athletic as well. It suddenly began to pull itself up the ladder. Meanwhile, the rescuers watched in complete shock!
Only mere seconds later, the strong leopard made it all the way to the top of the ladder and emerged from the well! Clearly, their makeshift ladder was the proper choice for the rescue.
Wasting no time, after stepping down from the ledge, the leopard didn’t stick around to thank its rescuers. Instead, it quickly darted off into the nearby forest, likely in search of food and water.
Following the incident, Lokesh stuck around to help lend some explanation as to why the leopard was probably looking for water in such an unexpected place, as opposed to where it normally would.
Lokesh explained that leopards don’t just enter villages where people live without reason. “As mercury rises, the wild animals stray into human habitats in search of water,” he explained.
Many of the villagers mentioned they’d seen the leopard, as well as others, looking for something to drink. It’s mostly been spotted getting water from other larger bodies of water.
The Forest Services were also sure to mention that this wasn’t the only leopard they’ve had to save from a well in the area either. In fact, just a month prior, they used a similar technique to achieve the exact same thing.
It’s so unfortunate that droughts are forcing these wild leopards to have to enter primarily human habitats to look for water. Luckily for this one, however, at least there was someone nearby who noticed what was going on.
There’s no saying what would’ve happened to that poor leopard had no one noticed it down there. Thankfully, with their quick thinking and action, it was brought to safety.
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