This is the heartwarming moment a vet saves a leopard from the deadly jaws of a poacher’s steel trap.
The male Indian leopard, aged about three, was found in the trap near the village of Jeur Haibati in the Ahmednagar District of western India’s Maharashtra State.
The big cat’s front left leg had been caught in the jaws of the device and it was in distress after finding it could not free itself.
Vets from the Wildlife SOS organisation, based at the Manikdoh Leopard Rescue Centre at the nearby city of Junnar, and local forestry officers raced to the scene after local residents raised the alarm.
Dr Ajay Deshmukh, the senior vet with Wildlife SOS, tranquillised the leopard and, once it was sedated, carefully removed it from the trap.
Dr Deshmukh said, “Fortunately, the injury is superficial, and no internal injuries have been detected.”
He cleaned and disinfected the wound and treated it with anti-inflammatory cream.
The injured leopard is currently being kept under observation but will be released into the wild once vets are satisfied it has recovered.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, told Asia Wire that the leopard had been in distress and condemned poachers for laying the trap.
He said: “We are appalled by this heinous act of crime against an innocent animal. Jaw-traps are lethal hunting devices which can cause severe lacerations, joint dislocations, fractures and even death…”
The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of threats including poaching, and habitat loss.