5 min read

People See Hurt Leopard In Their Headlights — And Know They Have To Help

So many cars passed him by 💔

It was the middle of the night, and the poor leopard was in so much pain.

After being hit by a speeding car near Agra, India, the injured animal had no choice but to pull himself to the side of the road and wait for help.

He sat there, unable to stand. He desperately needed a miracle.

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The leopard waiting on the side of the road | Wildlife SOS

Bustling cars kept passing him by, until finally a kind motorist noticed the poor, hunched-over animal and stopped. It was 2 a.m. — but help was on the way.

The Wildlife SOS team was called and rushed to the scene, accompanied by forestry officers, to find the stressed animal laid out on the side of the road. The team safely tranquilized the animal and hurried him over to their rescue center, where he was stabilized.

Rescuers transporting the leopard | Wildlife SOS

Unfortunately, cars pose an extreme risk to leopards and other endangered wildlife (on top of other dangers like deforestation and poaching). While it’s in a leopard’s nature to avoid humans, their shrinking forest habitat is pushing them closer and closer to villages and towns.

Now, more than ever, these big cats are being forced to learn how to avoid cars — but they can’t always dodge them.

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An Indian leopard in the forest | Shutterstock

“With little or no provision for wildlife corridors or underpasses in and around city limits that allow wild animals to cross roads safely, many unsuspecting animals put their lives at risk while navigating the roads,” Kartick Satyanarayan, cofounder of Wildlife SOS, said in a statement. “This not only puts the life of the animal at risk, but also poses a threat to the safety of humans. Such incidents tend to increase during the winter months, requiring the need to take extra precautions especially in the early or late hours of the day.”

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A wildlife bridge in Canada, which allows animals to safely cross above highways | Shutterstock

In areas of India where animals are being forced to share their wild habitats with humans, wildlife corridors could become a popular tool to help larger wild animals move from place to place safely, Satyanarayan said. Ideally, these “nature highways” would also help at-risk populations expand despite their closer proximity to humans.

Thankfully, this 8-year-old leopard is already starting to feel better — but he’s very lucky that he was found when he was. He’s currently being treated for leg injuries and will continue to be monitored by the veterinary team to improve his chances of recovery.

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The rescued leopard resting in hay at the wildlife center | Wildlife SOS

Every life saved is so important for this vulnerable species — and hopefully, this stunning leopard will soon be healthy enough to return back to his home in the forest.

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