6 min read

Farmer Looks Inside His Well And Sees Someone Staring Up At Him

She fell all the way down there 😱

Last week, a farmer in Yadavwadi, India, went to turn on the water pump of his well when he noticed something strange. There was someone at the bottom, staring up at him with wide, helpless eyes — it was a leopard.

The leopard must have come into the village during the night to search for food, but ended up slipping into the well, which was about 30 feet deep. Unfortunately, there was no way for her to get out, and she struggled to keep her head above the waist-deep water. If she stayed there any longer, she could drown.

Leopard who fell into well
Wildlife SOS

Thankfully, the farmer knew what to do — he alerted the local forestry department, which got in touch with the Wildlife SOS team that manages the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Center in Junnar, India. Then a rescue team from Wildlife SOS hurried to the farm.

With the help of several villagers, the team lowered a wooden ladder to the bottom of the well to give the leopard something temporary to sit on. As they hoped, the leopard immediately jumped on the ladder.

Leopard who fell into well
Wildlife SOS

After that, the rescue team lowered a trap cage with its door wide open, hoping the leopard would get into this as easily as she had leapt on the ladder. As luck would have it, she did.

Rescuers lowering cage to rescue leopard
Wildlife SOS

“It was a bit surprising to see how quickly the leopard jumped into the trap cage,” Kartick Satyanarayan, cofounder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, told The Dodo. “In most cases, the animals are initially apprehensive of the unfamiliar metal cage, but as soon as they realize that it’s the only safe dry spot, they willingly jump in.”

After the leopard got into the cage, the rescuers shut the door and hauled her up to safety. Then the Wildlife SOS team took the leopard, who’s estimated to be 7 years old, to the rescue center for a medical exam.

This isn’t the first time a farmer has found a leopard at the bottom of a well. It happens quite often — in fact, Wildlife SOS rescued a second leopard from a well in India the very same week.

Leopard in rescue box
The second leopard rescued from a well within one week | Wildlife SOS

“Several instances of leopards falling into wells have been reported over the last few years in Maharashtra and several others in states across India,” Satyanarayan said. “The main reason behind this appears to be the lack of proper covers and fencing around these wells. The startling increase in rate of habitat encroachment has resulted in decreasing prey base, territory and water sources for predator species like leopards that are then forced to come out into human habitation. Since these elusive cats usually prefer to move around at night, it is common for them to slip into the uncovered wells.”

The leopard turned out to have minor injuries to her forehead, but these were treated with antibiotics and a topical ointment. The leopard also got food, water and a safe place to rest. And once she’d fully recovered, she was released back into the wild.

“The most uplifting part of the rescue was to see the leopard safe and unhurt,” Satyanarayan said. “Rescues like this are extremely challenging, and ensuring the safety of the animal is our top priority. We are grateful to the farmer for taking timely action by reporting the incident and helping us save her life. Knowing that she can now have a second chance at life makes the work we do so much more rewarding.”

To help Wildlife SOS rescue other animals like this leopard, you can make a donation to the organization.