CHANDRAPUR: The leopard, trapped in the water tank in Lohara forest research centre, escaped successfully on Sunday night. Surveillance of site revealed that the leopard was a sub-adult cub and stepped out of the tank when its mother came for its rescue. The beast, prompted by the presence of its mother leopardess, scaled the wooden ladder put into the tank and ran away into the jungle.
Forest authorities were on their toes on Sunday, after the leopard fell into the empty water tank. Their efforts to prompt it to climb out of the 12 feet deep tank with the help of wooden beam and aluminium ladder proved futile. The leopard, which appeared grown up, remained inside making no effort to climb out.
Foresters later put a makeshift wooden ladder into the tank in the evening and cleared the area. Camera traps were installed around the tank to keep a watch on the area. Pictures captured in camera trap reveal that the mother leopardess approached the tank at 7.54pm. It stayed around the tank and kept calling for its cub. The mother was captured in the camera trap again at 9.25pm, when it went close to the tank. At 9.33pm, the leopard cub climbed out of the tank through the ladder. Both the mother and cub later went into the jungle.
“Camera trap pictures revealed that it was a sub-adult cub still accompanying its mother. It might have fallen into the tank while attempting to kill a deer on its own. Detached from its mother, it was not responding to our efforts to rescue him. After the mother came looking for it, it climbed out,” said Chandrapur RFO Abhay Badkelwar.
He said that after the cub went away the staffers of forest research centre on Monday fenced the tank with bamboo to avoid such incidents in future.